Cyndi Lauper let her true colors shine through on Saturday night at the Nokia
Arena in Tel Aviv. Foul-mouthed, big-hearted and still quirky as hell after all
these years, the bright-red haired, combat boot-wearing 60-year-old entertainer
revisited her landmark debut album She's So Unusual, performing it in its
entirety upon its 30th anniversary.
Whether spinning like a dervish,
climbing onto speaker stacks, roaming out into the audience, or getting down on
her knees to sing, Lauper has lost none of her spunky spirit, nor her powerful
lung capacity. Her crack band, anchored by bassist William Wittman who performed
and acted as engineer and producer on She's So Unusual back in 1983, accurately
recaptured the new wave era, replete with echoing rim shots from the drums,
cheesy synth riffs from the keyboards and upbeat dance tempos.
with the album's one-two punch of "Money Changes Everything" and her theme song
"Girls Just Wanna Have Fun", it was evident that Lauper was emotionally invested
in the material, and not simply offering nostalgic timepieces. Some of the songs
like "All Through the Night" and "I'll Kiss You" did seem stuck in the'80s a
little too much, but the rest of the album - especially the standard "Time After
Time," the effervescent "She Bop" and the Prince cover "When You Were Mine" -
still sound utterly contemporary.
Between some tunes, Lauper dropped in
some rambling, shaggy dog stories about her life in the early 1980s and the
writing and recording of the multi-hit spawning album. With her broad Betty Boop
Brooklyn accent and a perhaps somewhat exaggerated Lucille Ball ditzy
personality, Lauper can at times resemble your eccentric aunt from New York who
loves reminiscing in a stream of consciousness style about the days when she was an
edgy boho starving artist. But the sometimes overly long monologues were
endearing, and while not providing too much insight into the songs, did offer a
glimpse of the person behind the persona.
Following the album's
completion, Lauper trotted out a few unconnected songs for the encore – a tune
from her Tony Award winning musical Kinky Boots, a hit from the late 1980s, and
for the finale, perhaps her most loved song, "True Colors." Performing the song
on dulcimer, Lauper called out opening act Ninet for a vocal duet. The charisma
between the two singers and the tenderness they caressed the classic with proved
to be the highlight of a show with many peaks.