Michael Riedel reports this morning in the NY Post that there "It may be wishful thinking, but there's talk of involving Manilow in the Tony telecast this year. One idea floating around is to have him and Midler open the show with a medley of Broadway standards and a few songs from her first album, "The Divine Miss M," which Manilow produced, thrown in for kicks."
No date or theatre has been announced yet for the 2013 Tony Awards and it's very early in the process, so we're also going to file this one under 'wishful thinking.' Manilow is of course appearing on Broadway now as himself in MANILOW ON BROADWAY which runs through March 2nd, and Midler will be starring in I'll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers, directed by Joe Mantello, opening on Broadway on Wednesday, April 24. That said -- count us IN!
Manilow's roots remain in his native Brooklyn, where music was an integral part of his life. By the age of seven, he was taking accordion lessons and playing on a neighbor's piano. Choosing a career in music while still in his teens, he attended New York College of Music and the Juilliard School of Music while working in the mailroom at CBS. He subsequently became musical director for a CBS show named "Callback" (the predecessor to "American Idol") which led to a lucrative sideline on New York's advertising jingle circuit.
Since then, Manilow has been ranked as the top Adult Contemporary chart artist of all time, according to R&R (Radio & Records), with no less than 25 consecutive Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1975 and 1983. The list includes all-time favorites that Manilow still sings today: "Mandy," "It's A Miracle," "Could It Be Magic," "I Write the Songs," "Tryin' To Get the Feeling Again," "This One's For You," "Weekend In New England," "Looks Like We Made It," "Can't Smile Without You," "Even Now," and the Grammy Award-winning "Copacabana (At the Copa)." Manilow's Broadway show is destined to be as legendary as the man himself.
Bette Midler has earned three Grammys, four Golden Globes, three Emmys, a Tony Award, and sold 30 million records worldwide in a career that spans more than four decades. She has played memorable film roles in The Rose, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Ruthless People, Beaches, and The First Wives Club, among many others. Miss Midler made her Broadway debut in the chorus of Fiddler on the Roof. Other stage performances include Tony Award-winning Clams on the Half Shell, Experience the Divine, for which she holds the all-time record for a six week engagement at Radio City Music Hall, The Divine Miss Millennium Tour, Kiss My Brass, and The Showgirl Must Go On at The Colosseum in Caesars Palace. Outside the spotlight, she is the proud founder of the New York Restoration Project (www.nyrp.org), a non-profit organization that revitalizes abandoned and neglected public spaces across New York City.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos