By David Lindquist, Star/News Staff Writer 8/18/99
When Shania Twain peers into her future, she probably sees Olivia Newton-John attached to several of her goals. It's been decades since Newton-John -- who performed Tuesday night for 4,527 fans at Deer Creek Music Center -- made the successful transition from country artist to pop star to silver-screen sensation. The concert presented by the mature Newton-John offers none of Twain's live bombast, but Olivia's vocal power and grace sold hits such as Let Me Be There, Have You Never Been Mellow and even Xanadu's Magic.
In recent years, Newton-John has waged a winning battle against breast cancer and returned to her country roots. Tuesday's concert showcased each Newton-John era of impact, but didn't shortchange 1998's Back With a Heart Nashville release. The title track and Precious Love (both co-written by the singer) were energized moments in a generally low-key performance.
Even though the best tickets sold for a startling $100 apiece, it was obvious that none of that money was spent on production extras. Simplicity seemed to work for Newton-John, who quaintly excused herself for one number to execute the evening's single costume change.
The 1978 film Grease, of course, stands as a highlight of Newton-John's career. While Tuesday's show would have benefited from star power provided by a young John Travolta, Newton-John and her male band members had a lot of fun with a Grease suite that included Summer Nights, Hopelessly Devoted to You and You're the One That I Want.
Newton-John's strong falsetto also provided thrills at the conclusion of Sam and Dolly Parton's Jolene. And the 50-year-old beauty could have aced a Spice Girls audition when she sang 1982's chart-topping Physical. "Olivia Spice" has a decent ring, no?
This page brought to you by the Olivia Newton-John fan club Only Olivia.
Back to Olivia's Summer 1999 Tour
last updated January 13, 2003