Well, I just came back from Florida and went to all of Donna's concert's there. (YES !! all 4 !! ) . I wanted to post some reviews from the shows and list a few things that were different from one another. Here it goes....
Donna's show started @ 8:15pm and people were still rushing in to their seats for the first of 4 shows Donna would be performing for Florida. The crowd was quite mixed, but noticed several older folks in the audience. Donna looked beautiful with the same hair as the photo from when she received the key to Sarasota the day before. As she was raised up from the back of the stage with hand raised, her hand almost hit the Disco ball hanging above her and she held her hand carefully as to not knock into it with her head. Obviously she was lifted higher than she was supposed to or the ball was hanging too low. She did not let this phase her as she was gleaming with a beautiful smile and singing "Hard for the Money". The audience was extremely enthusiastic and I was impressed with everyone on their feet dancing so early on into the show. I was very surprised to hear her perform Dinner w/ Gershwin and Love is in Control as a medley.. The audience was lukewarm to this medley and almost no one knew these songs. Of course the biggest surprise was when she performed Pearls by Sade. I was very shocked that when she sang "A little Help from My Friends'"~ the audience participation part of the show, she did a reprise of "Hard for the Money" with the people she picked out from the audience. She has always used this part of the show for On the Radio as most people know, so this was different. The show flowed very well and she was very relaxed and joking with the audience like she always does. As everyone was yelling for her...she yells "Get it out of your system !!". An awesome show to start off this tour.
Fort Lauderdale May 26th :
The Sinatra Theater is a beautiful venue. They use a end section of the Bank Atlantic center for the concerts and it is very intimate, but a lot larger than most of the venues Donna usually performs. The theater was not completely filled yet as Donna started at 8:15pm.I was surprised they did not start a little later as there were still a lot of empty seats in the floor and lower sections. As Donna was raised up from behind the stage, there was yet another malfunction. Poor Donna was immediately lowered back down right in the middle of the opening while singing "Hard for the Money". Within about 30 seconds, she appeared from the back of the stage and right to the center to finish the song. Donna looked gorgeous in a different wig from the Sarasota show. She gave the audience her famous quote " Dance if you wanna Dance, Sing if you wanna Sing". This audience was younger and the crowd was much more enthusiastic. There were even several young kids with their parents. Many more people had their seats by now and it was a full house. Donna again sang Dinner with Gershwin but instead of Love is in Control like the night before, She added Dim all the Lights to it as a medley .Also she did not sing Cold Love as she did the night before in Sarasota. I believe this is because the audience was not responsive to the song. Expecting to hear On the Radio with the audience participation part , she reprises "Hard for the money" once again and one of the guys she picked on stage got "cozy" with one of the female participants. Needless to say his wife (or girlfriend ) watching from her seat was very upset and there was a little drama between the two of them the rest of the show. The audience was buzzing after the show about how great Donna was .I almost forgot, one song Donna gave as a treat to the audience was God Bless America.
Fort Lauderdale May 27th :
Tonight's show started a little later around 8:30 pm. Again I saw a younger crowd and more children. There was one child a seat away from me that knew all the songs and she was probably only 10 years old !! Luckily they corrected Donna's entrance and she appeared at the top of the set under the disco ball with no problems. I thought last nights crowd was enthusiastic ? This one was a lot more and she even at one point sang You are so Beautiful after she told the audience to not make her cry ! On the Radio was brought back to the song list and the audience participants danced with each other old school disco style. One of the guys did not have a partner to dance with so he went after Donna and she danced and sang the rest of the song with him and allowed him to sing into her microphone a few times. One of the female participants was Gina Delgado, Donna's secretary, as Donna announced. Dim all the lights was added again to Dinner with Gershwin and during DATL, a huge spot light was shinning way up on an older gentleman who was dancing wildly seated up in the higher section and everyone was cracking up. When Donna sang Sade's Pearls again, she was exceptionally emotional. She even began to cry before she started. She had more passion in this performance of the song than the other shows. You could see that the crowd was very moved. The audience was so enthusiastic that she did not have the violinist come out before Last Dance and she did not even change for the song. Instead she gave an extended ending of the song to the audience This crowd was even much more enthusiastic and crazier than last nights performance. We all were treated to a down pour of rain as we exited the theater, all heated up from dancing the night away to Donna !
This theater's floor plan was almost identical to Sarasota. The crowd was a little younger though and Donna gave an even more relaxed performance than all of the other 3 shows. She let everyone know she was a little out of it as this was the last show for Florida. She joked even more and joked at one point "I forgot to take my Medication" as she was acting so silly and crazy. On the Radio was repeated with audience participation and though she did have a solo violinist play before Last Dance, the violinist went into a fast paced ditty and sounded very country and western. The crowd got really into it. Donna changed into her last dress for the night for the song and the crowd could not get enough of her. NOTE: Donna did mention herself eating potato chips turning into a Desperate Housewife, as she has said that's what led her to go on tour. But then she joked that was okay, though she has gained some weight, she joked there is more of her to enjoy !
- Jonathan W. from Studio City, CA
[Editor's note: see his photos below]