The Divine Miss Bette

Bawdy, brash and just as fabulous as the original, acclaimed Australian cabaret artist Catherine Alcorn will push all of your boundaries as The Divine Miss Bette!

Catherine’s show has been running for over a year all over Australia and is now back at Melbourne’s The Butterfly Club. This is your chance to become intimately acquainted with one of the greatest cabaret artists of our time, when charismatic performer Catherine Alcorn channels Bette Midler, transporting you back to the Palace Theatre, New York 1973 for a cabaret tribute to a timeless diva.



I caught up with Catherine to chat about her dazzling dress! Here’s Catherine’s story about the amazeballs vintage gown she picked up in a second hand clothing store in Sydney…

5 weeks before I opened my show The Divine Miss Bette back in November 2010, I began the hunt for a dress for the Sydney premiere. I knew what I wanted and that was to recreate a dress Midler wore on her Parkinson interview back in the 70’s. I first saw this dress in the interview I researched on you tube. I had approached a dress maker and was in the process of sourcing material for it to be made when I walked into The Zoo Emporium in Surry Hills one afternoon. I saw this vintage dress on the racks and thought “THIS IS IT!”

It was SO similar. Same length, fully beaded and featuring the most splendid sequinned embellishments beginning from the shoulder all the way down the front of the dress.It was perfect. But, it was a size 8. I was horrified. There it was, being perfect on the rack and screaming a size 8 at me. I thought to myself, just try it on anyway to at least satisfy yourself that you cannot get into it. So I did. And I got it zipped up. HEAVEN! It may have been somewhat tight, but goddammit I was going to get into it and be free to dance and sing in it by opening night, a mere 5 weeks away!

It cost me $300. I took the dress to my dress maker and she said (back in the day), that would have cost me nothing less than $3000. I was so lucky to have found it and I still wear it for all of my shows now. And I even added the tiny tassle at the back of the dress just like Bette had on hers.


The Divine Miss Bette is only playing until the end of the week. There are some tickets still available for these shows, so get in quick. Buy now!



Emily Collie is Editor of lifestyle & travel blog, Melbourne Girl. With a passion for sharing her experiences in her home city of Melbourne and around the globe, Emily has a summer state of mind and loves the ocean, netflix and sunsets.

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