Bette Midler Refuses To Be Played Off During Acceptance Speech At 2017 Tony Awards, Closer To EGOT Honor
Bette Midler refused to have her acceptance speech cut short at the 2017 Tony Awards last night despite the orchestra trying to play her off.
Midler, who won the Best Actress in a Musical award for her performance as Dolly Gallagher Levi in the Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly!, began her speech with a joke.
“I’d like to thank the Tony voters, many of whom I’ve actually dated,” Midler told the laughing crowd.
The actress continued for several minutes before the orchestra began to play her off, softly at first, but getting louder quickly.
“I just want to say … oh, shut that crap off!” Midler said to a standing ovation. The orchestra stopped, and Midler was allowed to continue.
Later in the speech, Midler spoke about the Hello, Dolly! in its current form and how it fits in to the current political climate – the musical was nominated for 10 awards and won the award for Best Musical Revival.
“Revival is an interesting word,” Midler said. “It means something is near death and was brought back to life. But Hello, Dolly! never went away. It’s in our national DNA … this is a classic, come and see it. This thing has the ability to lift your spirits in these terrible, terrible times.”
It wasn’t the only time the 71st Tony Awards got political. The Late Show‘s Stephen Colbert presented an award and poked fun at the Trump administration, Cynthia Nixon and Sally Field both commented on the importance of standing up to those who may take away other’s rights, and host Kevin Spacey got into his House of Cards character, Frank Underwood, several times, making references to Donald Trump, fake news, and other hot political topics.
Spacey, as Underwood, ended the night with a jab at Midler. “I want to get the hell out of here before Bette Midler thanks anyone else.”
Last night’s award marks Midler’s first ever Tony – she has won multiple Golden Globes, Emmys, and Grammys – and for that she was thankful. So thankful, in fact, that her four-minute acceptance speech was not long enough to give all her supporters their proper due.
Midler continued to thank friends, family, and co-workers in the press room after her speech.
And even that wasn’t enough. Midler took to Twitter after the shower to thank one more group of of people, the ensemble of Hello, Dolly!
“In all the pandemonium tonight I neglected to thank the brilliant ensemble of “Hello Dolly”, whom I adore,” she wrote. “Please forgive me kids! I’m old!”
In all the pandemonium tonight I neglected to thank the brilliant ensemble of “Hello Dolly”, whom I adore. Please forgive me kids! I’m old!
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) June 12, 2017
With her Tony win, Midler is only an Oscar win away from joining the coveted group of 12 entertainers to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony, otherwise known as an EGOT.