June 17, 2013 @ 2:26 pm
Cyndi Lauper's signature album, "She's So Unusual," turns 30 in October (photo by Bill Bungard)
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Cyndi Lauper had plenty of reasons to party Sunday night when she headlined the Pantages Theater. For starters, her Broadway musical, “Kinky Boots,” just racked up a whopping six Tony Awards, putting her just one movie gig away from going full EGOT (she's also got Grammys and an Emmy, but no Oscar -yet.)
Also, her 59th birthday is coming up on June 22, as acknowledged by several “happy birthdays” shouted during the early part of her set; not that she seemed AARP-eligible, sporting crimson dreadlock extension, a leather jacket and leopard print pants as she twirled around the stage, occasionally breaking into the "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" dance.
But the reason for the occasion was the 30th anniversary of the singer's 1983 breakthrough “She's So Unusual,” among the most enduring pop albums to emerge from the Reagan Era. Not that anyone should have expected Lauper, one of Gen-X's most beloved oddballs, to sleepwalk through her signature album, like a typical nostalgia act; her two-hour set was fittingly offbeat and spontaneous, sometimes with awkward results.
Much of the show felt like a taping of “VH1 Storytellers,” with the singer providing detailed backstories for her most iconic material. Lauper's tales sometimes meandered, with some twice as long as the song she was introducing. But her offbeat humor, here quirky Queens accent and lots of insider tidbits kept fans engaged as she recalled past streaking exploits, lyrics inspired by gay porno mags and the time, during the "We Are the World" sessions, that she creeped out Ron Wood. (Exactly how weird do you have to be freak out a guy who hangs out with Keith Richards?)
There was a chaotic undercurrent throughout, with a variety of technical glitches, set list changes and fan exchanges adding and detracting from the show. One of the night's most enduring images was when a fan bolted onstage, arms outstretched during Prince's “When You Were Mine.” Lauper intervened with a quick hug before her admirer was hauled offstage; and later the pop icon descended into the good seats where she sang part of "Shine," her uplifting internet release from 2001, surrounded by fans.
Lauper wasn't worried about staying on script as she added the obviously unrehearsed “Good Enough” during the encore, much to the chagrin of her confused backing band. “I didn't want to do this because we did it last year. Then I realized we never come here,” she explained, by way of apology. The arrangement was sorted out one awkward huddle later and the song – a fan favorite first featured in Steven Spielberg's “Goonies” - paid huge dividends.
But the whole thing got off to a shaky start, with Lauper audibly micromanaging her band's blocking and clearly distracted by technical issues. She sounded fine but briefly quit singing during "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" as she fiddled with her wireless mic transmitter, a passing disappointment for fans who paid up to 120 bucks to hear a treasured song from their childhood.
Later, she was focused and delivering with more gusto, dancing and revealing more of her vocal range through cuts like “Yeah Yeah” and “Sex is in the Heel” (the latter from “Kinky Boots.”) Sure, she'd wasted "Girls" early, but she saved her best song for last, singing an emotional rendition of “True Colors” accompanied only on keys. Fist raised, she encouraged her fans to embrace “acceptance, tolerance and working together for the greater good” before making her exit.
It wasn't a perfect show, by any means, especially if you paid top dollar for tickets; but it was, at least, testimony to the enduring power of Lauper's brand of pop. Maybe, now that she's in the midst of a major comeback, she'll start being mentioned again in the same breath as her '80s peers, Madonna, Michael and Prince.
Set list: Money Changes Everything, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, When You Were Mine (Prince), Time After Time, She Bop, All Through the Night, Witness, I'll Kiss You, He's So Unusual (Helen Kane), Yeah Yeah
Encore: Shine, Sex is in the Heel, Good Enough, True Colors
June 17, 2013 @ 12:18 pm
The public is invited to come hear answers to these and other questions about the 2015 U.S. Open Championship during an in-district meeting of the Pierce County Council on June 27. The meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Environmental Services Building, located next to Chambers Bay at 9850 64th St. W, University Place.
The meeting will feature a presentation by Danny Sink, the United States Golf Association's on-site championship director, just days after his return from a month-long assignment supporting the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club near Philadelphia. Former County Executive John Ladenburg will make brief remarks about the conversion of the site from a sand and gravel pit to U.S. Open site and park. And county officials will give an update on planning for the championship.
"The U.S. Open is one of the premiere sporting events in the world, and it is coming to the Pacific Northwest for the first time in its history," said County Councilmember Connie Ladenburg, who will preside over the meeting being held in the District 4 area she represents. "This is a great opportunity for residents and business owners to come learn about the championship, including the timeline for preparations."
The U.S. Open will be conducted June 15-21, 2015, which includes three practice days before the four-day championship rounds. The USGA is planning on total attendance of 235,000 spectators, volunteers, media, vendors and staff.
By Published in the Tacoma Weekly
June 17, 2013 @ 10:04 am
Canadian rapper Drake is headed to Tacoma, promoter Live Nation announced. The multi-platinum selling artist - known for "Over," "Started From the Bottom" and other hits - will kick off his “Would You Like a Tour?” tour at Portland's Rosegarden on Sept. 25, followed by a Sept. 26 stop at the Tacoma Dome. The show is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start, and up-and-coming R&B singer Miguel will open.
Drake will be out in support of his forthcoming album album “Nothing Was the Same.” Tickets for the Tacoma show will go on sale on June 21 with prices ranging from $47 to $97. Find the most up to date ticket info here.
June 17, 2013 @ 9:25 am
Raise those devil horns, metalheads! The Washington State Fair will crank up the volume on Sept. 18 with the Carnival of Madness, which will bring Shinedown, Skillett, In This Moment and We As Human to the Washington State Fairgrounds grandstand in Puyallup. The show will kick off at 5 p.m. that day, and tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. On June 22, with prices ranging from $35 to $45. Check out the full fair concert schedule online at www.thefair.com/concerts.
June 17, 2013 @ 8:59 am
A public vote will decide the design for the next Pierce County Library System’s library cards, designed by local students. Pierce County residents may choose the winners by voting online at the Library’s website, www.piercecountylibrary.org search site: card contest, now through July 6.
During a free contest nearly 1,000 students throughout Pierce County submitted designs. Their art included submissions using pencil, pen, paint, camera and computer.
“Every entry shined with creativity and a unique view of the student’s personal library story or perspective,” said Neel Parikh, executive director for Pierce County Library. “Now it is up to you to decide the design for our next library cards. The winning artists’ cards will be reproduced into 10,000 cards and available for free this fall during our card drive—pretty amazing exposure for a young artist!”
Professional artists reviewed entries and selected 20 finalists. Grades K-6: Trinity Brown, Puyallup, Naches Trail Elementary School; Megan Cannon, Puyallup, Fruitland Elementary School; Hunter Erwin, Gig Harbor, Harbor Heights Elementary School; Claire Hughes, Gig Harbor, Harbor Heights Elementary School; Amanda LaVoie, Spanaway, Pioneer Valley Elementary School; Grayson Loupas, University Place, University Place Primary School; Josiah McGinnis, University Place, University Place Primary School; Ainsley Peterson, Gig Harbor, Harbor Heights Elementary School; Nolan Robison, Puyallup, Brouillet Elementary School; and Madison Schumacher, Tacoma, Brookdale Elementary School.
Grades 7-12: Kourtney Baxter, Bonney Lake, White River High School; Karly Dammel, Puyallup, Home School; Katie Howard, Lakewood, Steilacoom High School; Kelly Lavelle, Puyallup, Rogers High School; Janae Phelps, Tacoma, Cascade Christian Junior High School; Nashesha Rowberg, Puyallup, Stahl Junior High School; Isabel Shin, Puyallup, Mount Rainier Lutheran High School; Kazia Smith, Buckley, White River High School; Spencer and Gabriella Smith, Graham, Home School; and Paige Wilson, Buckley, White River High School.
The library will announce the winning designs later this summer. A graphic designer will fashion the two winning designs—one from each grade category—into library cards that will be replicated into 10,000 cards. The student-designed cards will be available for free, in addition to other designs that the Library offers, during the library’s seventh annual card drive this fall.
By Published in the Tacoma Weekly