Friday, June 6, 2008

The Manilow Magic

Everywhere you look, Mr. Manilow is getting some well deserved respect. And it's about time! Blogs, entertainment reviews, talk show hosts, the media, and yes..even the critics are standing up and realizing that "our man" has got IT.

Here's an excerpt from an online article in the Las Vegas Weekly entitled "The Manilow Principle" by Steve Friess.

About 15 minutes into Barry Manilow’s Music & Passion show at the Las Vegas Hilton last week, I received a mocking text message from my partner. Miles had ducked out of having to go with me, my 16-year-old niece, Courtney, and my mother because he had to go to work at the last minute, but he hardly seemed unhappy about that twist of fate.

“So, does it suck yet?” the message taunted.

I missed the message. To my utter shock, I was having much too good a time.

Yes. At Manilow.

But, faithful and puzzled readers might be thinking, didn’t you just a few weeks ago mention how much you despised that very show in that commentary about all that was wrong with the new Cher production?

Indeed, that is why I was so bowled over. When your family visits, you tend to do things you wouldn’t ordinarily want to, and my mother was, is and probably always will be a Fanilow. So off I went, preparing both myself and poor young Courtney to suffer. I prepped the teen for the idea that this would fall into the so-bad-it’s-good category.

Except it wasn’t. It was so good it’s good. Really. In my guidebook, Gay Vegas, I had given this production a “C” and complained that it was a “rush job” with “dancers who seem confused about what they’re doing.” Yet on this night, a good 75 percent of the songs were not in the prior edition, Manilow was unstoppably exuberant and energetic, and even the closing “Copacabana” was less grating and, so it seemed, mercifully a little bit shorter. Also, unlike Bette, Celine or most notably Cher, Manilow remained on the stage for all but about three minutes of the concert. Of course, his “costume changes” involved changing his sportcoat. But still.

There you have it folks. Once again, Manilow has made a believer out of a skeptic. It seems the list keeps growing and growing.

Until the next skeptic is converted,

Texas Fan

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