Nareed
Nareed
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May 9th, 2014 at 7:53:07 AM permalink
I had no trouble getting a ticket at Tix4tonight (which BTW now also sells tickets for the following day) at a reasonable price.

For those unfamiliar with the Donnie and Marie showroom at the Flamingo, the seating is in booths and tables rather than rows of seats (I suspect due to the bar service for the show). I had a seat in a booth about halfway down to the stage, smack in the center. Better yet, my seat faced the stage directly.

Now to the show:

Most important it was a great thrill to see Olivia Newton John live! I've loved her music since shortly after "Grease" came out way back when.

The show opens with a verse from "I Honestly Love You" sung off-stage with the curtain down and the lights low. Then the curtain rises, she walks on stage and begins to sing "Have You Never Been Mellow." Afterwards she welcomes the audience and engages in the usual banter for such a performance.

This is followed by three songs from Xanadu. Now, though that movie was rather disappointing (to be charitable about it), the lyrics in some of the songs are much better than anything in the smash hit Grease. In particular I was stunned by the live performance of "Magic." It's such an uplifting song with an unusual theme for the genre (that is, it's not about love).

She then goes on to talk briefly about her early life, the singers she admired and does some cover songs from the era. Nice, but not really her work. This follows with a retrospective of her life, shown screens on stage and to the sides, while she sings "A Little More Love."

Next is on to country music, where most people don't know she had her early hits. Alas this is done in a semi-medley style. Thus though she sang "Country Roads," she skipped the middle of the song, which is my favorite part.

As you can guess, this is followed by "Physical" and finally three songs from Grease (the show is called "Summer Nights" after all). Grease is perfectly good musical theater, but rather shallow and nostalgic. The music is to match. Get someone other than Olivia Newton John to sing it and I'm not interested.

But rather than ending with this set, she does a quick costume change and sings "Grace and Gratitude" from her more recent work. The show closes with a full rendition of "I Honestly Love You." Now, that is a remarkable song, lyrically, about a kind of love not often heard in pop music. It's about an extramarital affair.

My only complaint is that she didn't sing "Tied Up," which is by far her best song both musically and lyrically. The chorus goes like this:

Here's the opportunity
Come and take it to the Nth degree!
Don't be nervous I don't have to be
Tied up in promises, oh
Tied up in words that cut too deep
Tied up in promises we could never keep

But I know it's a 90 minute show, perforce abbreviated and confined mostly to her better known pieces.

I had a great time and it's the best thing I ever did in Vegas.

In the unlikely event she's still there next year (actually she only does a handful of shows per month, which accounts in part to the solidly sold-out house), I would definitely go again and would pay a great deal more for a closer seat.

About the cost, my ticket was $67. I saw some discarded tickets from the Flaming box office on my way out, all of which stated prices between $100 and $125. So I got a bargain, to boot.
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blount2000
blount2000
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May 9th, 2014 at 9:19:09 AM permalink
Great review/description of the show. Grease was one of the first movies I remember attending when I was young, and I've always enjoyed her work.

Thanks for posting the review.
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JLA
JLA
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May 9th, 2014 at 2:53:26 PM permalink
Thanks for the review. My next Vegas trip is going to be based around the schedule of this show. She was a childhood crush and her songs have held up quite well.
Nareed
Nareed
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May 9th, 2014 at 4:17:08 PM permalink
You're both welcome.

Olivia is one of the few musicians or singers I'd ever pay to see. The others, if you're interested, are Pat Benatar, The Bangles, The GoGos and perhaps Paula Abdul.

I forgot to say at one point she introduces her band, which is rather small. She has very kind words for every member. I forget their names (naturally), but they are a guitar player, a bass player, a drummer, a pianist/musical director, two backup singers (one male who also sings in duets and one female), and a third backup singer who also plays winds (harmonica, flute, sax, etc).
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EdCollins
EdCollins
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May 9th, 2014 at 5:16:55 PM permalink
I saw her in concert in 1982... more than 30 years ago! I'm hoping to see her again, at the Flamingo. Thanks for the review.
tringlomane
tringlomane
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May 9th, 2014 at 5:41:35 PM permalink
Glad you had a good time Nareed! Thanks for summing up and glad you were able to save some bucks w/Tix4Tonight.
Nareed
Nareed
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May 27th, 2014 at 6:55:42 AM permalink
I posted a bit of an analysis of Olivia Newton-John's lyrics at DT:

http://diversitytomorrow.com/thread/725/0/#post13149

Should anyone be interested.
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Sabretom2
Sabretom2
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May 27th, 2014 at 7:37:59 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

You're both welcome.

Olivia is one of the few musicians or singers I'd ever pay to see. The others, if you're interested, are Pat Benatar, The Bangles, The GoGos and perhaps Paula Abdul.

I forgot to say at one point she introduces her band, which is rather small. She has very kind words for every member. I forget their names (naturally), but they are a guitar player, a bass player, a drummer, a pianist/musical director, two backup singers (one male who also sings in duets and one female), and a third backup singer who also plays winds (harmonica, flute, sax, etc).



I'll be seeing Pat Benatar in Biloxi next month.
Nareed
Nareed
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May 27th, 2014 at 7:46:02 AM permalink
Quote: Sabretom2

I'll be seeing Pat Benatar in Biloxi next month.



I'm so jealous!

Let me know if perchance she sings "In the Heat of the Night."
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