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After a whirlwind tour which sold out five cities across the US earlier this year, award-winning artist Catherine Alcorn returns to Sydney to enchant audiences with her The Divine Miss Bette cabaret at the iconic Sydney Opera House.

“The show is reminiscent of Bette’s earlier work, her concerts in the 70s when she was doing 300 dates across America. That’s the show that we’re doing, we do a lot of her earlier work, including In The Mood, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Stay With Me Baby, The Rose and The Wind Beneath My Wings, but there’s a whole new take on how we perform them,” explained Alcorn.

The show has grown considerably from its humble beginnings in Wagga Wagga in 2009, to a two hour show with a seven piece band and Kirby Burgess (Dirty Dancing) and Phoebe Panaretos (Strictly Ballroom) lending their talents to the show as The Harlettes.

When asked whether this show was a tribute to Bette Midler, Alcorn reflected momentarily. “I don’t think so – I don’t know whether there’s a word to describe it. It’s like a revisiting, a re-education as to who Bette Midler was in her younger days. The show is different each night because the audience is different and I improvise and interact so much with them that ultimately I feel like the audience is in control of the direction of the show.”

Alcorn explained that the aim of the show is to send audiences home on a high, feeling great about life. “Audiences will have a good old-fashioned night of entertainment with killer music, great jokes and lots of laughter. We cover so many genres – there’s rock, there’s blues, there’s show tunes. This show should appeal to the baby boomers who were fans of Bette’s back in the day, but it’s really a show for everyone aside from children. It’s a nostalgic romp and she’s an inter-generational performer so we also get younger people coming along who enjoy live music.” (MMo)

Until Aug 26. The Studio, Sydney Opera House. $59-$69+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.sydneyoperahouse.com