Friday, August 12, 2011

Debbie Gibson and Tiffany: Journey Through the '80's!

Last weekend I got to live out a childhood dream - I saw Tiffany and Debbie Gibson in concert.

Now, lest you think I was a deprived child, I was anything but. I saw Madonna in third grade. The Jets, Paula Abdul, Kenny Loggins, Richard Marx, Dan Fogelberg, Styx, the Beach Boys, Chicago, America, and probably a few others I can't remember at the moment, plus lots of Broadway shows once I got into those. But somehow, I never made it to the mall when Tiffany was in town. I've watched both of their careers from the sidelines over the years, and now they're capitalizing on a wave of '80's nostalgia and touring together.

Helping me to keep up with my zest for all things pop culture is New York Magazine's Vulture feature. They posted this video of the duo appearing on The View, and I went on to post it on facebook (I have to resist the impulse to post a great deal of material I find on Vulture - you really should check it out.) I couldn't find any tour dates at first, but within six minutes my college friend Michael said that they were performing at the North Shore Music Theater in just a few days! His friend had won tickets at drag queen bingo (of course) and he was going to the show.

I'm not an impulse person. Yet the tables turned quickly, and within 24 hours I'd convinced Marc to come with me and found a sitter for the kids. It was all meant to be.

The show was fantastic. I'd never been to the venue before, and was surprised to find out that it was theater-in-the-round, and we had seats in the fifth row. People were dressed in '80's garb, neon and puffy paint, some wearing shirts from the original concert tours. Tiffany and Debbie Gibson first got on stage together, and sang a couple of hits from the '80's, including Toni Basil's "Mickey." Then Tiffany got the stage to herself for a while, and this is when their true personalities began to emerge. Tiffany attempted a Stevie Nicks song, and well, it sounded really bad. But she seemed to know it, and after the first few lines, called out for something to be adjusted and she started again. And she sounded great. She sang "I Think We're Alone Now" and "Could've Been," which had the man in the audience next to me in tears. When a wardrobe change took longer than expected, she explained that she couldn't get her boot on back stage. Everything about her performance felt very authentic, and even enjoyed some of her new country material. I longed to be up there with her as a back-up singer. :)

After intermission it was Debbie Gibson's turn, and the woman is a performer. She had two back-up dancers, several costume changes, and kept up a witty repartee the entire time she was on stage. She sang "Shake Your Love" and "Only In My Dreams" (now an Old Navy commercial) and talked about being a star at such a young age. She did several Broadway numbers from her days in various shows, but my favorite portion of the night was when she pulled out several pages of sheet music and off the cuff played piano and sang along to several classic songs from the '80's, including Belinda Carlisle's "I Get Weak." She talked about texting Richard Marx for his approval to sing one of his songs, and how he promised to feature "Electric Youth" at a future performance. Tiffany joined Debbie back on stage for a few more songs, and they walked the perimeter of the stage, shaking hands with about half of the audience. There were more flubbed lyrics and banter between them, and I loved all of it. They ended with "Don't Stop Believin'" which has to be included in every '80's-themed performance from now until the end of time.

I left with the biggest smile on my face. As we drove home, Marc and I debated who was a better performer and discussed the entire show. Never in the almost 12 years that we've been together did I expect to be discussing Tiffany and Debbie Gibson with him, and I appreciate him being such a good sport and coming with me (but he had a great time, too).

Here are a few pictures from the show - it was HARD to get decent shots. I'm so glad I got to see them! Thanks to Vulture and drag queen bingo for helping to make this happen for me!

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