October 22, 2016
        Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race        

Cyndi Lauper debuts new blues album at Town Hall

By Roger Friedman

HollywoodNews.com: Cyndi Lauper is a savvy survivor. Of course, she’s not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And it’s a scandal. Lauper is the real deal. Not only does she have the hits, she’s also a multi talented musician and composer who constantly reinvents herself.

On Wednesday night, she showed off her latest invention: the blues. Her new album, “Memphis Blues,” is the genuine artifact, made with loving care and the actual musicians. In concert at Town Hall, she brought along not only legendary Charlie Musselwhite but also the great Allen Toussaint as guest stars. You’ve never seen Madonna do this before a show started: Lauper, eyes welling up, introduced her amazing band and then said what an honor it was to play with them.

It’s really a tribute to Lauper that she’s been able to adapt to the blues. The audience still wants “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” But that’s from more than 25 years ago. If you haven’t stayed in that time warp, then you know Cyndi has moved on constantly. Her albums, particularly 1993’s “Hatful of Stars,” are beautifully crafted gems that long ago jettisoned the kitschiness of her first record and videos for something far more complex.

Her show is still a hoot, though. Mixed in with the blues are rambling anecdotes and Lauper asides. Her natural sense of humor cannot be denied. She tells a disarming story, and gets serious. “Go on Google and look this music up,” she advised the audience about the blues. It’s an educational two hours. She’s like Gracie Allen: kooky on the outside, brilliant on the inside. (If you’re too young to get that, Gracie Allen was married to George Burns. Look them up on YouTube.)

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To read more go to Showbiz411.com.

Image by PR Photos

About Roger Friedman

Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411.com column in April after 10 years with Fox News where he helped create Foxnews.com. Friedman’s prior experience on the Internet is with MSN’s Cinemania column. Friedman also wrote the Intelligencer column as a contributing editor at "New York Magazine," where he covered the O.J. Simpson criminal trial. In addition, Friedman has been involved in book publishing and filmmaking (Only the Strong Survive). For more about Roger go to Showbiz411.com

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