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Culture

Two indefatigable divas

By Nick Divito

Bette Midler and Cher will take over where Celine Dion left off on a rotating basis at the 4,300-seat Colosseum at Caesars Palace. While reps for the sexagenarians have made it clear to us that the two stars are trying to keep their shows separate, we couldn’t help but compare the dueling divas and fantasize about who would win in a knife fight.

Performer, show title

Bette Midler, The Showgirl Must Go On

Cher, Cher

Age, birthday, birthplace

62; December 1, 1945; Honolulu, Hawaii

61; May 20, 1946; El Centro, California

Nomenclature, Aliases

Born Bette Davis Midler, after the actress with the famous eyes. Also known as The Divine Miss M, Bathhouse Betty

Originally: Cherilyn Sarkisian LaPierre. Legally changed her name from Cherilyn Sarkisian LaPierre Bono Allman to simply “Cher.”

Measurements,

according to Celebrity Sleuth Magazine

36 ½-25-36

35 ½-25 ½-36

Height, according to imdb.com

5’ 1”

5’ 7 ½ “

The schedule

Performing five nights a week, starting February 20, for a total of 200 shows over two years. Show will run 90 minutes long.

Performing four nights a week, starting May 6; returning in mid-August for another two-month stint, for a total of 200 shows over three years. Show will run 90 minutes long.

Ticket prices

$95, $140, $175 and $25

$95, $140, $175 and $250

You like me, you really, really like me!

Zero Oscars, three Emmys, four Grammys, four Golden Globes, one Tony.

One Oscar, one Emmy, one Grammy, three Golden Globes, zero Tonys.

Playing the gay card.

Gay icon. After playing the eldest daughter on Broadway in Fiddler on the Roof, Bette rose to fame while playing gay bathhouses in New York City with Barry Manilow, earning her the nickname “Bathhouse Betty.”

Gay icon. Lesbian daughter Chastity Bono is a gay-rights activist, and Cher was publicly supportive of her daughter. Will and Grace upped the gay ante by making her Jack McFarland’s idol. Cher has twice guest-starred on the sitcom as herself, once in 2000 where she was mistaken as a drag queen, and again in 2002 when she played God in Jack’s version of heaven. Dance tune “Believe” is a big hit in the gay clubs.

Sell-out

Has sold more than 14 million albums.

Has sold more than 100 million albums.

Plastic surgeries

Admitted in an interview with Larry King in 2003 that yes, duh, she’s had plastic surgery. The end.

Has publicly discussed her procedures, jokingly calling herself the “plastic surgery poster girl.” Has admitted to a nose job and a boob job, but denies having cheek implants. Also admits to having many of her iconic tattoos removed.

Notable Quotable

“I wouldn’t say I invented tack, but I definitely brought it to its present high popularity.”

“I think that the longer I look good, the better gay men feel.”

And the winner is: Elton John, who will be rotating his own show, The Red Piano, at the Colosseum between the divas’ dueling shows, returning March 19.

He was, after all, the only male ever invited to perform for VH1’s successful Divas Live series, in 1999.

Illustration by Colleen Wang

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