Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ultimate Manilow

Last night was the first night of the new show entitled Ultimate Manilow: The Hits.

When the show was announced, if my memory serves me correctly, Barry said it would include more of his music. I believe that is all I remember, but the way Barry speaks there are always some extra adjectives thrown in there.

Getting back to last night, the fans filed into the theater, seeing the new set up…hearts all palpitating with anticipation of the new show that has been talked and raved about for weeks. For Pete’s sake, the man hasn’t been on stage for two months - he is going to come out and pull out all the stops.

The curtain goes up. The fog. Here he comes….

Fast forward to the reviews, the first few that I saw were not favorable…Why? Barry does not half step, what is going on? Someone even said that he appeared to not want to be there. What? Opinions are like asses, everyone has one, and that is just one person’s opinion. Then, I saw another review, the person was disappointed after falling for the hype and expecting a different show.

Rewind - Barry said the show would include more of his music. Didn’t he do that? Memory, Somewhere Down the Road, Ships, Even Now, WINE. I recall those used to get switched out in some shows right?

I have found some fans take everything Barry says so literal. Example: I remember reading an article where Barry was discussing the arena shows, he said in Vegas he has a time limit, and in the arenas he can play as long as he wanted. Also, the arena shows are a “blown up version” of the Vegas show. Well, the arena shows are still 90 minutes, we just have an opening act. There are a few more songs added, and the backups Copa costumes are WOW. Oh yeh, we do get an encore.

Complaining, no I am not. Just using an example of the comments placed in articles to get the fans to pack the place. Like anyone else, you have to take what is said as advertisement and something to entice you to buy a ticket to attend. Remember, Barry is an entertainer, but he does not entertain for free.

Hopes were high for an all new show. The reviews were a result of differences of opinions, albeit, the songs selected, the mood the reviewer was in - anything. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and the differences in reviews show that people in the same theater will see and enjoy different things. It does not mean that either person is wrong or right. It means they have a difference of opinion.

The mention of enjoyment moves me to discuss the excitement of two of our younger Barry fans. Reading their blog made me smile because you could feel the emotion, and that is what Barry is about. He obviously felt that excitement because of the interactions they received from him. He made their night, and gave them memories they will never forget. Surely, the attention Barry gave them ruffled some feathers, and the ugly green monster of jealousy poked his head out (and it is probably still out).

Jealousy in the Manilow world is another blog all together and frankly I don’t have the energy tonight.

You know as a writer, for many years, I would write and keep it for myself. No one read anything I ever wrote for pleasure - why? Because I was afraid they’d read it and say “ewwww” or “I don’t get it.” Finally, a few years ago, I allowed a friend to read it and she said “why have you been hiding this for so long?” Others have read stories and commented on them. I won a couple of writing contests - so I might not be too bad after all.

I said that to say, artists (whether musical, written or visual) put all they have into their craft in hopes that people will like it, that it will touch someone, or just give them inspiration. What if you put your energy into something to have it shot down? To hear it really wasn’t that great? Or they were disappointed? I know how I would feel - and it isn’t a good feeling.

Barry has performed sick, he has traveled in snow and rain - when he doesn’t have to. I am confident when I type this, he gives us his best when he steps onto that stage. If he wasn’t feeling it, really - he doesn’t have to get out there and I truly believe that he wouldn’t.

1 comment:

texas_fan said...

For some, it's never good enough. He could stand out on that stage for 4 hours and sing and they would complain about his voice going towards the end. I honestly don't know why he even bothers any more.

Oh yah...for the new fans. The ones who appreciate it. For the ones who are seeing it for the first time and fall in love with the music. And, for those of us who really do appreciate what he does day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year.