Review: ‘Tina Turner; Cyndi Lauper’

Tina Turner; Cyndi Lauper (Greek Theatre; 6,238 seats; $ 67.75 top) Promoted by Nederlander Concerts. Bands: Turner: Jack Bruno, Timmy Cappello, Ollie Marland, Warren McRae, Chuckii Booker, John Miles, James Edward Ralston; Karen Owens; Sharon Owens, Cynthia Davilla; Lauper: Jan Pulsford, Melanie Vaquez, Valerie Vigoda, Ron Jenkins, Scooter Warner. Reviewed May 12, 1997. For two hours Tina Turner danced and dazzled a sold-out, celebrity-dotted crowd at the Greek Theatre, serving up a nonstop blitzkrieg of sights and sounds that demonstrated without equivocation why she is simply the best at meshing rock, R&B and sultry pop ballads. Her high energy, classy perf (the first of five SRO nights) showed no sign she was returning to the road after a four-year absence, and also illustrated why she has endured for more than 30 years in a business that tends not to celebrate substance. Touring in support of her Virgin Records disc "Wildest Dreams," (her debut on the label), Turner kicked off the set dressed in a shimmering, micro-mini cocktail dress that caught every ray of light as she capered across the stage belting out "Whatever You Want," an Anita Baker-penned tune from the new album. The song's title was easily the evening's mantra as Turner gave the enthusiastic audience exactly what they wanted: a repertoire filled with nuggets, some time-worn but de rigueur songs such as "Proud Mary" and "Nutbush City Limits," and material off the new CD presented through eye-popping dance routines and vocal perfection.Her formidable skills --- and those of her backing band --- shone best during a mid-set session where she delved into the unplugged and seated vein, with each bandmember grabbing a stool and moving to the stage apron. Many artists have taken this approach to put the music --- instead of the special effects --- center stage, but none have seemingly mastered this mode of presentation like Turner. Though seated, the songstress was still able to warble some vocal chord-busting numbers and deliver particularly inspiring versions of "Let's Stay Together" and "Steamy Windows." Known for using hydraulic risers for effect, Turner didn't disappoint, with the use of a moving platform and catbird seat to open "Goldeneye." Expectedly, clips from the Pierce Brosnan starrer graced huge vidscreens that flanked the stage. Opener Cyndi Lauper merged witty banter with new tracks off her "Sisters of Avalon" album during her hourlong set, at times concealing her reputation for catchy, hook-filled pap and instead offering some stellar vocal work on well-crafted tracks found on the new Epic Records disc. An a cappella version of "True Colors" and a full-bodied rendition of the disc's title track, with Lauper occasionally hitting and sustaining high notes, impressed the crowd, who previously probably only linked Lauper with the squeaky notes on "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun."

Tina Turner; Cyndi Lauper (Greek Theatre; 6,238 seats; $ 67.75 top) Promoted by Nederlander Concerts. Bands: Turner: Jack Bruno, Timmy Cappello, Ollie Marland, Warren McRae, Chuckii Booker, John Miles, James Edward Ralston; Karen Owens; Sharon Owens, Cynthia Davilla; Lauper: Jan Pulsford, Melanie Vaquez, Valerie Vigoda, Ron Jenkins, Scooter Warner. Reviewed May 12, 1997. For two hours Tina Turner danced and dazzled a sold-out, celebrity-dotted crowd at the Greek Theatre, serving up a nonstop blitzkrieg of sights and sounds that demonstrated without equivocation why she is simply the best at meshing rock, R&B and sultry pop ballads. Her high energy, classy perf (the first of five SRO nights) showed no sign she was returning to the road after a four-year absence, and also illustrated why she has endured for more than 30 years in a business that tends not to celebrate substance. Touring in support of her Virgin Records disc “Wildest Dreams,” (her debut on the label), Turner kicked off the set dressed in a shimmering, micro-mini cocktail dress that caught every ray of light as she capered across the stage belting out “Whatever You Want,” an Anita Baker-penned tune from the new album. The song’s title was easily the evening’s mantra as Turner gave the enthusiastic audience exactly what they wanted: a repertoire filled with nuggets, some time-worn but de rigueur songs such as “Proud Mary” and “Nutbush City Limits,” and material off the new CD presented through eye-popping dance routines and vocal perfection.Her formidable skills — and those of her backing band — shone best during a mid-set session where she delved into the unplugged and seated vein, with each bandmember grabbing a stool and moving to the stage apron. Many artists have taken this approach to put the music — instead of the special effects — center stage, but none have seemingly mastered this mode of presentation like Turner. Though seated, the songstress was still able to warble some vocal chord-busting numbers and deliver particularly inspiring versions of “Let’s Stay Together” and “Steamy Windows.” Known for using hydraulic risers for effect, Turner didn’t disappoint, with the use of a moving platform and catbird seat to open “Goldeneye.” Expectedly, clips from the Pierce Brosnan starrer graced huge vidscreens that flanked the stage. Opener Cyndi Lauper merged witty banter with new tracks off her “Sisters of Avalon” album during her hourlong set, at times concealing her reputation for catchy, hook-filled pap and instead offering some stellar vocal work on well-crafted tracks found on the new Epic Records disc. An a cappella version of “True Colors” and a full-bodied rendition of the disc’s title track, with Lauper occasionally hitting and sustaining high notes, impressed the crowd, who previously probably only linked Lauper with the squeaky notes on “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”

Tina Turner; Cyndi Lauper

Reviewed May 12, 1997 - Greek Theatre; 6,238 seats; $67.75 top

Production

Promoted by Nederlander Concerts.

Cast

Bands: Turner: Jack Bruno, Timmy Cappello, Ollie Marland, Warren McRae, Chuckii Booker, John Miles, James Edward Ralston; Karen Owens; Sharon Owens, Cynthia Davilla; Lauper: Jan Pulsford, Melanie Vaquez, Valerie Vigoda, Ron Jenkins, Scooter Warner.

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