“Olivia Newton-John Captivates Paramount Theatre”
By Christian Scalise
Entertainment icon, multiple award-winning superstar, breast cancer survivor, Olivia Newton-John delighted music fans of all ages on Saturday November 10th, 2012 at the historic Paramount Theatre in Aurora for a one night only sold-out performance.
With a career spanning over four decades, the beloved star’s timeless appeal and world-renowned success have left a remarkable imprint on the world of show business. Showing no signs of slowing down, Olivia Newton-John has maintained not only her vivacious stage presence, but her commanding vocal range appears untouched by time, as does her ageless beauty.
The concert stage was transformed into an extravagant production complete with silk curtains, elevated platforms, innovative lighting and “Olivia” projected onto the backdrop.
Around 8pm, the house lights dimmed, snippets of “I Honestly Love You” played on the loudspeakers and then Olivia Newton-John took the stage. Welcomed by a standing ovation, she opened the show with “Have You Never Been Mellow,” “A Little More Love,” and “Sam.”
Wearing a pair of sparkly black slacks with a tailored blazer and sequined necktie, Olivia thanked everyone for coming out to the show. She received nonstop cheers and applause from the enthralled audience.
Sharing stories from her movie career, Olivia asked the audience if they minded her singing a few songs from one of her most famous films, “Xanadu,” to which they happily obliged. Immediately, the mood of the stage shifted into a colorful light show for the psychedelic “Xanadu,” “Magic,” and “Suddenly.”
Some may tend to forget that Olivia’s career started out in country music. Taking the audience on a journey back to that era, an acoustic medley of “If Not For You,” “Let Me Be There,” “Please, Mr. Please,” and “If You Love Me (Let Me Know)” thrilled fans, but even more notably, her outstanding covers of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” and John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” sent chills throughout the entire theatre.
Placing a unique take on “Physical,” Olivia started the song out slow giving it an almost, soulful vibe, then quickly transitioned it into the original up-tempo version. The next segment of the show offered several of the smash hits from “Grease.” Olivia kicked it off with “You’re The One That I Want,” “Hopelessly Devoted To You,” and then invited the audience to participate on “Summer Nights,” by placing the guys against the girls, before closing it out with “We Go Together.”
Before ending the magical evening, Olivia returned to the stage for a two song encore consisting of the tender ballad, “Grace and Gratitude” and of course, her signature hit, “I Honestly Love You.”
During these tough economic times, we need the power of love through music now more than ever; Olivia Newton-John blessed everyone with a much needed break from the ultra negativity of the world. Our personal struggles, worries and anxieties were all forgotten if only for a night, thanks to her.
I would strongly recommend that anyone who has never seen Olivia Newton-John before to catch one of her live concerts. For over 90 minutes, concertgoers are treated to non-stop hits, genuine humor, electric excitement, cherished memories, and the unmistakable voice of one of the most underrated artists of our time.
Many thanks to Olivia’s wonderful publicist Michael and friendly road crew for accommodating Showbiz Deluxe for the evening!
1. Have You Never Been Mellow
2. A Little More Love
7. If Not For You
8. Let Me Be There
9. Please, Mr. Please
10. Jolene (Cover)
11. If You Love Me (Let Me Know)
12. Take Me Home, Country Roads (Cover)
14. Suspended In Time
15. Shaking You
16. Not Gonna Give Into It
17. You’re The One That I Want
18. Hopelessly Devoted To You
19. Summer Nights
20. We Go Together
21. Grace and Gratitude
22. I Honestly Love You