Bette Midler’s annual Halloween bash Hulaween returned for the 21st year at St. John the Divine Cathedral on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Her red carpet was star studded, featuring some of Broadway’s best performers including Bernadatte Peters, David Hyde Pierce, the cast of Hello, Dolly, Ben Platt and Michael Feinstein.
Peters is slated to replace Midler in the starring role of Hello, Dolly that won her the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical earlier this year.
Judy Gold hosted the event, with special guest Michael Kors judging the costume competition.
The special event is the annual fundraiser for the New York Restoration Project (NYRP), Midler’s non-profit that raises funds and awareness for transforming New York’s green spaces.
The organization is “driven by the conviction that all New Yorkers deserve beautiful, high-quality public space within ready walking distance of their homes.” As New York’s only citywide conservancy, NYRP bring private resources to spaces that lack adequate municipal support, fortifying New York City’s aging infrastructure and creating a healthier environment for those who live in the most densely populated and least green neighborhoods.
This was the first year the event took place at St. John the Divine Cathedral, as the last few years it has taken place at the Waldorf Astoria.
Midler invited burlesque performer Dita Von Teese to perform, but the Right Reverend Andrew M L Dietsche, the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, banned her performance from taking place. The bishop was not pleased to hear of Von Teese’s slate performance and ordered she not be allowed to perform inside the Cathedral Church, which according to its website, is a “house of prayer for all people and a unifying center of intellectual light and leadership.”
Von Teese told Page Six, “While I’m disappointed not to be performing as planned at this wonderful event, I respect the Bishop’s decision to ban burlesque in a functioning church!”