Boo! Bette Midler and the Sanderson Sisters are back for a ‘Hocus Pocus’ reunion

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OK, who lit the Black Flame Candle?

Nearly three decades after Disney’s “Hocus Pocus” hit theaters in 1993, the wicked Sanderson Sisters have returned from the grave for a good cause. Just in time for Halloween, a “Hocus Pocus” reunion starring Bette Midler (Winifred), Kathy Najimy (Mary) and Sarah Jessica Parker (Sarah) is coming soon to a screening link near you.

“I haven’t seen those two girls together in 27 years,” Midler recently told comedian Seth Meyers on “Late Night.” “I’ve seen them many times, but always solo. It was exactly the same. It was like yesterday. ... fell right into our old characters.”

“In Search of the Sanderson Sisters: A Hocus Pocus Hulaween Takeover” will bring back the magic of the cult classic, which starred Midler, Najimy and Parker as a trio of evil witches who hunt children in a quest for eternal youth. It’ll also feature cameos by A-list stars such as Meryl Streep, Tiffany Haddish, Glenn Close and George Lopez.


Here’s everything you need to know about the special. Come, we fly!

What time is the show, and where can I watch it?

The hourlong performance will kick off today at 5 p.m. Pacific on the New York Restoration Project’s website, where folks must purchase $10 tickets in advance to receive a personalized link to the show.

“In Search of the Sanderson Sisters: A Hocus Pocus Hulaween Takeover” is a one-time-only global event and will not be available to view after it premieres. The virtual festivities will replace Midler’s annual Hulaween bash as a fundraiser for her environmental organization.

“We put a lot of creativity into it because when people come to our in-person event, they expect a real blowout, and we wanted to give them something that would be memorable,” Midler told Meyers. “And I gotta say, it’s 10 bucks. Don’t panic.”

Who’s participating?

Obviously, the three titular sorceresses will all be involved in the spooky special, as will fellow original cast members Doug Jones (Billy Butcherson), Vinessa Shaw (Allison), Thora Birch (Dani) and Omri Katz (Max).

Also expected to appear in the star-studded holiday extravaganza are:

  • Susanne Bartsch
  • Alex Brightman
  • Glenn Close
  • Billy Crystal
  • Jamie Lee Curtis
  • Samantha Diaz
  • Elvira, Mistress of the Dark
  • Tiffany Haddish
  • Bella Hadid
  • Todrick Hall
  • Jennifer Hudson
  • Billy Eichner
  • Anjelah Johnson-Reyes
  • Michael Kors
  • Adam Lambert
  • Lance Le Pere
  • George Lopez
  • Eva Maguire
  • Harper Maguire
  • Katie Maguire
  • Alex Moffat
  • Law Roach
  • Martin Short
  • Sarah Silverman
  • John Stamos
  • Meryl Streep
  • Kenan Thompson
  • Sophie von Haselberg

How’s it going to work?

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, “In Search of the Sanderson Sisters: A Hocus Pocus Hulaween Takeover” was “filmed entirely in quarantine from 70 locations around the globe,” according to a press release.

Midler, Najimy and Parker will reprise their nefarious roles for a documentary-style show that will explore the Sanderson sisters’ backstory, as well as “education, music careers, ill-fated love affairs and so much more.” Billed as a “love letter to ‘Hocus Pocus’ fans,” the performance is sure to include plenty of callbacks to the Halloween staple — not to mention Midler’s signature fake teeth.

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“It was a picture that started off a little bit sleepy,” Midler said of the original film, directed by Kenny Ortega. “But somehow it found its niche, and it became a cult classic, and now it’s everywhere. ...

“And as the years have gone by, it’s become this gigantic snowball, and I have to say it has been so rewarding. ... People come to me and say, ‘I saw this when I was 6,’ and they have white hair. ... It’s actually the most rewarding ... and I’m talking financially too. It’s been great. I mean, it’s like an annuity.”

How can I get involved?

The best way to contribute to the NYRP’s efforts to preserve New York’s natural spaces is to buy a $10 ticket and enjoy the show. You can find more info about the NYRP’s environmental work here.


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