Tuesday, October 28, 2008


After seeing four shows last week from absolutely fabulous seats I have only one word to describe the new show: FANTABULOUS! Each and every night was more exciting than the next to end the week on Saturday with a rip-roaring performance from Barry and everyone involved in the show. Of course, the crowds play an integral part in the performances and Saturday night's crowd was exceptionally pumped up and on their feet for a huge portion of the show.

The "new" opening
I was a bit hesitant because I LOVED the "right here-right now" opening. It always got me pumped up for the show. The YMCA song is gone as well. However, the new opening fits the new show. The titles of his songs flash on the screen after Ultimate Manilow circles and then the silhouettes of the musicians playing jazzy upbeat music setting up the entrance of Monica, Melanie and Keely singing a somewhat jazzy version of "It's a Miracle" (as best I could tell). When he steps out on stage out o
f the "M" and the fog it's always a dramatic, much-anticipated entrance.

The "decade" segment
This part of the show happens almost immediately after the opening. I have to say, after all four nights, I love this portion. The snippets of each of the songs tend to crescendo into the 70's and set up the finale song from the new 80's album-"Islands in the Stream". This song is a showstopper. Barry and the backups LOVE singing this song together. They have as much fun with it as the audience allows. And the more into it the audience gets, the more into it Barry gets. It's an absolute heartpumping, handclapping, sing-along moment and for me, this time, the highlight of the show all 4 nigh

The "fan" interaction
Since the dance has been removed for obvious reasons, Barry has attempted to add some sort of fan interaction on the side stage. He has completely stayed away from the right side of the stage (those of you who have read my previous blogs know why) and has moved to the left side where he's sitting on the railing singing briefly to someone. Of course, as always, some overzealous fan had to yank and pull at him one night, so the next night it was gone. Thankfully, he reinstated it on Saturday and my friend Tammy was the welcome recipient. (Kim, however, was treated to a very nice dance with him during the Copa segment on Friday night). I was happy to receive a few handshakes!

The "hits"
This show is jampacked with his hits. He picks the best and pours his heart into all of them. My personal favorite, however, is "Memory". Before he sings it he stands with his back to the audience directing the orchestra. It's one of those moments when he exudes his passion for the music. It gave me goosebumps each night and the set up for the song is gorgeous. Next to that song, "Weekend in New England" always blows me away. The first night when someone responded to "when can I touch you", he responded, "my hands are kind of busy right now". The next few nights, you could tell he was into the song and not into joking around. You can tell..when someone yells, he completely ignores it. Of course h
e obliged the "sexual fantasy" aspect of the crowd with "Looks Like We Made It" and his provocative hand movements. The bamms were gone this week, but honestly, I can take or leave them. The intensity of the music and the passion he portrays when he sings is what brings me to the shows. "Somewhere Down the Road" and "Ships" have to be the most intensely emotional songs of the show. He crawls so deep into them at one point it seems like he disappears into another place with each song.

The ending and Copa
Not much has changed here except the fact that Barry comes down the stairs from the back of the stage and then ascends up the catwalk. YBA had a bird's eye view se
at of the catwalk ending on Thursday night and got an eye full (to say the least). It's always fun when he does that gratuitous grab for the crowd. I was sitting directly below the catwalk and experienced his wave through the glass as he bent down to say hi to the crowd below. As always, that song gets the crowd pumped up.

The lighting and videos
The new lighting, set decorations and videos are amazing. The last night I spent some time watching all the spotlights, the screen presentations during the songs, and the lights all around the stage and the side of the theater. It fits him and it fits the feel of the show.

The "new" confetti and mylar
The 1-2-3 count he gives before the mylar explodes is now more of a 1-2-3 DUCK! That stuff comes out hard and hits hard as well! However, it goes along with the set and the new show and everyone seemed to love it. The confetti blowers are a great added touch as well. Seems like everyone was tangled up in it while leaving the show, stepping on each other's souvenirs so to speak and having fun with it all.

I have to say that I love this new show more than Music and
Passion. I didn't think it would be possible, but I do. Even though I loved the Mayflower segment in the old show, I love how the new show flows and how we get to hear more of his signature songs. And I love the 80's songs he has added in and the decade segment is tons of fun. I can't ever remember the song sets or the order in which they come. I rarely remember the jackets he wears, although it seems there was a new one with a solid white stripe down one arm I hadn't seen before.

I'd also like to tip my hat to Kye. That man is a true professional with the choreography and stage presentation. Not to mention his singing and dancing capability. I spent a great deal of time during the show watching him on Saturday and noticing how he makes everyone look great and how he seems to be the glue that meshes the show together.

"Ultimate Manilow-The Hits" did not disappoint. If anything, he made me want to come back for more (he always seems to do that to me!)

Until the good times come again,
Texas Fan


you begin again.... said...

Yep, just as I remembered it! Very thorough review. A number of folks I've spoken with you agree about liking this show even better than M&P (hard for me to believe too...) because he gets SO much music into this one show. Definitely more than most shows in town. I was completely worn out after 3 shows. Of course the people I was with helped with that. 8^D. Let's see if we can find a way to do it again!!

Jenny said...

I really enjoyed reading your review - not having seen the new show, it's great to be able to "feel" it through others descriptions. Sounds like you had the most fabulous time.

Peachy said...

Oh great, more to hit me in the head at the end. I always got one of those hard ends at least once a visit. I know to protect myself - thanks. LOL Great review. I am glad you enjoyed the show, and it is wonderful to get actual reviews that talk about the show and the aspects of it. We know he looks fabulous, and he sounds great - tell us something else ya know, and you definitely did that. I am really looking forward to seeing the new show. I will return the favor in December.

Survivor said...

Your review was great and like peachy says good to hear about the details of the show rather than just stating the obvious ie: how gorgeous he is!
Can't wait for December!!

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