No one cuts off Bette Midler.
On Sunday night, Midler won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. While accepting for her work in “Hello, Dolly!”, she gave one of the night’s most memorable speeches.
Midler, who beat fellow nominees including Christine Ebersole and Patti LuPone, told the orchestra to “shut that crap off” when they started to play her off.
“I’m so privileged, I’m so honoured. I hope I don’t cry. Thank you to the Tony voters, many of whom I’ve actually dated…I’m so grateful for the outpouring of love and affection. I can’t remember the last time I had so much smoke blown up my a**, but there’s no more room,” she said.
Once the music stopped, Midler continued her speech. “I just want to say that ‘revival’ is an interesting word. It means something was near death and was brought back to life. ‘Hello, Dolly!’ never really went away. It’s in our DNA. It’s optimism. It’s democracy. It’s colour. It’s hilarity. This is a classic: come and see it. It’s not just me. This thing has the ability to lift your spirits in these terrible times,” she continued.
Midler’s speech was so popular, it owned the night on social media. According to international social media analytics firm Talkwalker, the acting and singing legend’s speech represented 11 per cent of the total buzz surrounding the Tonys since Sunday. Her name was mentioned in 36,000 of the 282,000 instances of Tonys talk across all social media platforms. From 11 p.m. to midnight, her name was featured in 14,000 original posts.
Unfortunately, she forgot to thank the rest of her “Hello, Dolly!” cast members, but Midler took to Twitter to give them some love:
Midler received an honorary Tony Award back in 1974 for her contribution to Broadway, but this is the icon’s first award in an acting category.