Bette Midler may be a lady with good manners, but she can certainly drop a few profanities in her speech – even if it’s a speech addressing thousands of well-respected Broadway people and millions of people watching the broadcast of Tony Awards live.
When the lady isn’t finished, better not interrupt her! Viewers of Tony Awards 2017 on Sunday night certainly didn’t see it coming when Bette Midler took the stage to badmouth Tony Awards organizers during her acceptance speech.
Bette Midler became the Broadway queen of the night – picking up her Tony for Best Lead Actress in Musical Hello, Dolly! – but when the Tonys started messing with her in the middle of her speech, she was none too pleased.
Bette Midler instructed Tony Awards to “shut that cr*p off” when the orchestra started playing music in an attempt to boot her off the stage, according to People Magazine.
Bette Midler was not going to follow anyone’s rules and made sure all of her acceptance speech was heard. The thing is, the 71-year-old singer didn’t even need to perform at the Tony Awards on Sunday night to make a long-lasting impression.
Bette Midler kicked off her acceptance speech rather innocently, by telling Tony Awards voters that she was “so privileged” and “so honored” to be holding her first-ever non-special Tony award.
The legendary singer then joked by saying that she had “actually dated” many of the Tony voters, laughingly implying that her victory in the Best Lead Actress in a Musical category may have had something to do with her private life. And while her comments could potentially have caused an awkward moment, fans in the audience seemed more delighted with her humor and frankness than anything else.
Things escalated quickly in Bette Midler’s speech, with the singer telling the Tony Awards audience that she couldn’t remember “the last time I had so much smoke blown up my as*,” adding that “there’s no more room.”
But this was just a taste of what was coming, as Bette Midler made everyone in their seats jump when she instructed the Tony Awards’ orchestra to “shut that cr*p off” when she was running out of her time on the stage.
Nobody was in the mood of messing with one of the biggest Broadway legends, so the music actually stopped, allowing Bette Midler to continue her speech.
Bette Midler went on to praise Hello, Dolly! for being “in our DNA” and comparing the classic musical to “optimism,” “democracy,” “color,” and “hilarity” before encouraging Tony viewers to “come and see it.”
Midler’s expletive-filled speech at the Tonys 2017 triggered an outpouring of reactions on social media, with many users praising the 71-year-old for defying the orchestra during her speech.
Bette Midler’s victory in the Best Lead Actress in a Musical category wasn’t exactly a piece of cake for the 71-year-old Broadway veteran, as she was facing tough competition from fellow veterans Christine Ebersole (War Paint) and Patti LuPone (War Paint), and newcomers such as Denée Benton (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812), and Eva Noblezada (Miss Saigon).
Although Hello, Dolly! won four awards at the Tony Awards this year, Bette Midler was certainly the one who stole the spotlight of the awards show. In the musical, Midler portrays a widow in her middle years who has decided to start her life anew.
During her acceptance speech filled with bleeped out words, Bette Midler called her role in the musical “the greatest professional experience of my life.” The legendary singer has previously won a special Tony Award in 1974 for her vast contribution to Broadway. Thus, Sunday night marked Bette Midler’s first victory in an acting category.
[Featured Image by Michael Zorn/AP Images]