Last night I had the most amazing concert experience of my life when I was able to see two great entertainers, both mature women in their sixties - rock the house at the Sprint Center in Kansas City: Cyndi Lauper and Cher! The show was so phenomenal that I will discuss each performer in separate posts.
There is a bit of lingering bitterness with Kansas City audiences when stars come on stage and comment about being in Kansas - an understandable error that has been known to elicit booing and rude comments from people in the audience who paid big Missouri dollars for their seats. Cyndi Lauper, the opening act in last night's show, addressed that before she even got to the stage. She entered through the audience walking toward the stage saying, "Toto, I don't believe we're in Kansas anymore. I don't believed we're in Kansas at all!" The people in the packed house roared their approval of her cognizance of where she was at.
Lauper, who will be sixty-one later this month, spun, bounced, romped, stomped, and rocked around the stage with a ferocity that would have put a twenty-year-old on life support. Her voice is still as healthy and dynamic as it was when she was at the top of her game back in the eighties. She is a completely amazing performer.
Something I did not realize: Cyndi Lauper wrote the music and lyrics for the Broadway musical, Kinky Boots. She said it will begin a national tour in Vegas next year. (I loved the movie and can't wait to see in produced on the stage - especially with Lauper's powerful music.)
Cyndi Lauper is a native New Yorker (Queens) who is equally at ease speaking the language of the street with a Queens' accent (something she calls "the Queen's English") or quoting Lawrence Ferlinghetti. She is also a close friend of Cher's and has toured with her in the past.
And then there is the political side of Cyndi Lauper, a facet with which I am quite comfortable. Toward the end of the show she encouraged the audience not to forget about the kidnapped girls of Nigeria. She also mentioned, angrily, sixteen-year-old Jane Doe of Connecticut - a transgendered youth who has not been charged or convicted of a crime, yet is being held in a prison for adult females because the state regards her as dangerous. Jane Doe has been in the state's foster care system since she was five. Many of us might qualify as "dangerous" if we spent most of our childhood being bounced among foster and group homes. (As a former state child welfare worker, I know something about that of which I speak. It can be an awful experience, one that nobody should have to endure - and certainly not for eleven years - and then graduate to an adult prison!)
Cyndi closed her portion of the show with a raucous rendition of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." As she left the stage, she shouted into the arena - "Now get ready, 'cause Cher's gonna come out here and kick your ass!"
Which, of course, she did.