Picks and Pans Review: Bette Midler: Art or Bust

updated 08/27/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/27/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

HBO (Thursday, Aug. 23, 11:30 p.m. ET)

What a joy it is to see a TV concert that doesn't look like a documentary. Bette's looks more like a rock Fantasia. It was filmed last year at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, but you don't see the audience; you don't need to. There's plenty of Bette to watch. She is as outrageous as ever, decked out in Splash-like fins as she and her backup singers, the Harlettes, perform a choreographed dance in electric wheelchairs and sing We Are Family. Not so unusual for Bette. The production adds even more: an animated Bette as a ballet dancer; a skirt that glows through video magic; clouds pouring over the stage; magnificent costumes. It's not all splash and flash, though. Just as the energy level reaches overload, the Divine Miss M stands in front of microphone and just sings Everyone's Gone to the Moon. A delight.

From Our Partners