Raised in Queens, beloved Grammy, Emmy and Tony winner Cyndi Lauper continues the “She’s So Unusual 30th Anniversary Tour” in the heart of the borough. Her performance at the Kupferberg Center (Colden Auditorium) is one of just a few NYC stops in her multi- month tour.
From the moment Lauper walks on stage, she receives a standing ovation. Many remain standing throughout the concert. Some sing, others dance until every song from her 1983 album is performed. Many from her hit musical “Kinky Boots” have found time to attend the concert.
Multicolored flashing lights, bright designs and a revolving disco ball provide background. Lauper stops the momentum after two or three songs and jokes. “They told me to lose my (Queens) accent. I said what accent?” She reminisces, “I went to four high schools here. And that’s if you count summer school…”
Mega hits including “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” “She Bop,” and “Time After Time” receive enormous support from the audience. Lauper continues her recollections, describing her lean years. “I lived in a five story walk up and sang songs in the stairway.” After explaining “you couldn’t live with me, I’m a pain,” she quips about loyal friends who stayed despite the five story climb; “How do you love me, let me count the STEPS!”
The show continues. Lauper has kept the audience spellbound from the start. Many younger fans are enjoying the hard rock beat. They hear her advice to seek “authenticity” in music and in life. For older admirers the best is saved for last. Her final encore includes a lesser known song, “Hat full of Stars.” Her voice cracks with emotions as she confesses “I’m trying to live in the present but I keep tripping on the past.” Then her hit “True Colors” reminding us “It’s hard to take courage…You can lose sight of it all…But I see your true colors shining through…” As the audience in one voice finishes the last lyric…”Beautiful like a rainbow.”
Cyndi Lauper is the real thing. Authentic, original, with a voice that has grown stronger despite enormous adversity. This presentation is one of many offered this season at the Kupferberg Center at Queens College. Call (718)793-8080 or surf to KupferbergCenter.org. As always, save me a seat on the aisle.