On December 8, 2011, I had the honor of getting to meet one of my idols and heroes, the one and only Olivia Newton-John, whom I've had the pleasure of interviewing twice so far for "Adaumbelle's Quest." I got to meet Olivia after attending her concert at Westbury Music Fair on Long Island.
This moment in time would not have been possible without the help of Michael Caprio who was so kind to set this up for me as well as allowing me to interview Olivia twice so far. I would have never made it to Michael without the help of Del Shores, who casted Olivia in his movie and TV Series "Sordid Lives," for it was Del who put me in touch wth Michael. But as it actually turned out, I was already connected to Michael because my friend Gail Anderson made a beautiful picture of Olivia and I swimming with dolphins and was able to get Olivia to sign it (through her friend Greg) before giving it to me for the holidays. So, THANK YOU to each of you for truly making a dream come true for me. I am so humbled and honored to have been given this very special opporutnity!
As for the concert, Olivia put on quite a show! She played an equisite selection of music from her 40-year career! From her country hits to pop hits to her current recordings, Olivia had the crowd enthralled and excited for the full 2 hours! Olivia also premiered her brand new dance song "Weightless" which is in the end credits of her upcoming movie "A Few Best Men" to be released in January 2012 here in the states (it has already been released in Australia). "Weightless" is an amazing song about being in love and Olivia rocked it! She has plans to release an album of all dance songs in 2012, so I really hope this song makes it on. Between "Weightless" and the dance remix of "Magic," I can tell, Olivia's dance album is going to be high energy and enjoyable!
Some of my all time favorite songs Olivia performed were "Sam," "Have You Never Been Mellow," "Deeper Than The Night," "Physical," "Xanadu," "Magic," "Suddenly," "Don't Stop Believin'," "Grace and Gratitude," and her signature closing song "I Honestly Love You." Olivia also did a great medley of some of her country hits including "Let Me Be There," "If Not For You," and "Jolene," as well as songs from "Grease."
What made tonight's "Grease" section so special was that Olivia dedicated "Hopelessly Devoted To You" to Jeff Conaway ("Kenickie") and Annette Charles ("Cha Cha DiGregorio") who passed away earlier this year. Olivia also paid tribute to her friend John Denver by singing "Country Roads," which she recorded early in her career. While Olivia remembered her friends, she also honored the fact that she has been living cancer-free for 20 years now! She talked about how she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and thought she was going to retire at that time, but during her treatment, she started writing all of these songs (which became my favorite Olivia album "Gaia: One Woman's Journey") and retirement never happened (thankfully for us).
In addition to the above, Olivia paid homage to musicians who inpsired her growing up and throughout her career. Many of those songs can be heard on Olivia's recent album "Portraits: A Tribute to Great Women of Song." In concert tonight, Olivia performed a rousing cover of "Send In The Clowns" and "Cry Me A River."
Olivia has such range! From her voice to her music style, it was great to hear it all. At 63 years old and 40-years of hits to go along with that, Olivia still has what it takes to capture an audience and put on one fantastic show! With just two dates left of this mini-tour, I would highly, highly suggest trying to catch Olivia (if tickets are even still available) either this Friday (December 9) in Atlantic City or Saturday (December 10) in Albany. If you miss this tour, be sure to keep your eyes out for her next one! It is SO WORTH IT!!