Robert DeMora Dies at 85; Helped Make Bette Midler Look Divine - 2 minutes read

Mr. DeMora also worked with many other performers. For Joel Grey’s “Borscht Capades ’94: A Vaudeville Gone Mishuga,” a live music revue that honored his father, Mickey Katz, and his life as a vaudevillian, Mr. DeMora dressed Mr. Grey in an outlandish cowboy outfit — oversized chaps with fringes and a cowboy hat that threatened to swallow him.

For another bit, he turned Mr. Grey into a duck, hot-gluing feathers to a yellow shirt for a number called. “Geschray of the Vild Katschke” (in English, that would be “Call of the Wild Duck” — the song was a parody of Frankie Laine’s 1950 hit “The Cry of the Wild Goose”).

“He was outrageous and unafraid,” Mr. Grey said in an interview. “He had his own style and vivaciousness in putting together costumes. And a real sense of humor.”

The theater being what it is, Mr. DeMora’s work was not without its share of dramas. Ms. Midler recounted the prelude to a “Divine Madness” show that ended up on Broadway in 1979. One number was a homage to punk. Toni Basil, the early-’80s pop star (“Mickey”) who was a choreographer on the production, declared that Mr. DeMora’s costumes just weren’t punk enough.

“She considered herself in the vanguard of the punk scene, and she took a pair of scissors to the costumes, to punkify them,” Ms. Midler said. “Of course, Bob had a fit, and they didn’t speak for years.

“Oh, to see these two over-the-top professionals go at it hammer and tongs! I guess it was vandalism, but it was also hilarious.”

Source: New York Times

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