Girls just wanna have fun, but ladies sing the blues

Cyndi Lauper touts new Grammy-nominated album this Tuesday at UPAC in Kingston

by Ann Hutton
December 09, 2010 10:00 AM | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Cyndi Lauper
How does a woman of seemingly boundless energy and enthusiasm take to the blues? What does being blue, down and out, left behind and misused have to do with a truly hybrid personality – one of magnanimous generosity and open-mindedness? We might find out when Cyndi Lauper, the ultimate fun girl, plays for the first time in Kingston at the Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC) this Tuesday, December 14 at 7:30 p.m. In June of this year, Lauper released her 11th studio album titled Memphis Blues, featuring appearances by great blues artists B. B. King, Jonny Lang, Allen Toussaint, Ann Peebles and Charlie Musselwhite. Last week, that album earned Grammy Award winner Lauper another Grammy nomination for the Best Traditional Blues Album of the Year.

In a career that spans four decades, Lauper once again reinvents herself to celebrate an original American music genre that underscores all others. “This is the album I’ve wanted to make for years,” says Lauper. “All of these beautiful songs, and all of the great players on the album, were carefully chosen because I’ve admired them my entire life. And I knew from the moment Allen Toussaint hit the keys in ‘Shattered Dreams’ that we were creating something really special.”

A pop singer who has accumulated numerous accolades for her work as a singer, musician, writer and actress – 13 Grammy nominations (one awarded for Best New Artist), two Emmy Awards, two American Music Awards, seven American Video Awards and 18 MTV Awards – Lauper has evolved into a multifaceted Renaissance woman committed to humane causes with the same indefatigable energy. She is an unwavering advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality and a tireless participant in the struggle to end the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

She founded the True Colors Fund in 2008 as a nonprofit organization that seeks to inspire and engage everyone – particularly the straight community – to become involved in the advancement of LGBT equality. The True Colors Residence is the first project of its kind to provide a permanent, supportive and secure home to formerly homeless LGBT youth in New York City. She joined with Lady Gaga to act as spokespeople for the 2010 MAC Viva Glam Campaign and to educate woman about HIV/AIDS around the world. She also continues to participate in efforts and events for organizations like AMFAR, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in order to speak out about the need for education and greater resources to fight this disease.

In 2006, she made her Broadway debut as Jenny in The Threepenny Opera and is currently writing the music for the Broadway adaptation of the British film Kinky Boots. Lauper continues to show her range as an actress and personality on television, in film and onstage, most recently signing a deal with Mark Burnett Productions for her own reality series set to launch later this year. Who could have imagined, back in the early days of her career, that the fluffy-haired, flamboyantly made-up girl who sang “She Bop” would come to enjoy such global renown, and do so by extending the reaches of her sparkling creativity in all directions?

Currently capturing her journey in literary form for an autobiography that will be released with Simon & Schuster, Lauper says, “I still have so much to say and share. I’m grateful for each and every day that I get to make music. As long as there’s a corner of the world where people want to hear me, I’ll be there singing and acting and writing my heart out.”

It takes heart to sing the blues. Don’t miss the incomparable Cyndi Lauper on Tuesday at UPAC. Tickets are available at the UPAC box office in Kingston, (845) 339-6088); at the Bardavon box office in Poughkeepsie, (845) 473-2072; and through TicketMaster, or (800) 745-3000. Tickets are for $65 Golden Circle seating, $47 general admission, $42 for Bardavon members. For information, visit

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