Cyndi Lauper proves herself time after time in Tel Aviv

Iconic singer lets her true colors shine through on Saturday night at the Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv.

January 5, 2014 14:25
2 minute read.
Cindy Lauper performs in Tel Aviv, January 4, 2014.

Cindy Lauper performs in Tel Aviv, January 4, 2014.. (photo credit: Nimrod Saunders/Pool)


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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.

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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.

Opening 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.

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