Cyndi Lauper performed in a sold-out show Wednesday at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap, at times fiery and at times sentimental but always irrepressible!
Nominally, she was touring in support of her new album Detour, a collection of country music covers released last month on Sire Records. But the concert sold out in part because it was the last of seven dates where she shared the spotlight with another ‘80s icon, Boy George.
In performance, Cyndi and George sang three songs together — at the end of George’s set, they covered “Bang a Gong” by T. Rex, a favorite of George. And at the end of Cyndi’s set, they performed “You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly,” originally by Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty, and covered on Cyndi’s new album with Vince Gill. Afterward, Cyndi and George joined forces for “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!”
Watch Cyndi Lauper and Boy George perform “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” at the Beacon Theatre in New York on Dec. 5, 2015, for Cyndi Lauper & Friends: Home for the Holidays in a fan-made video:
The two old friends had easy chemistry, and were almost as entertaining bantering with one another as they were singing together:
Cyndi: If we did have kids, which would be impossible…
George: Well, not *impossible*!
Cyndi: Well, I’m old.
George: Oh, well, if you’re to blame, I understand. But it’s not *my* fault.
In a telephone press conference on Tuesday, I personally asked Cyndi how it had been sharing the stage with George for the short run of dates they booked together. Her reply was heartfelt and sentimental and carried the weight of another old friend — Prince, who passed unexpectedly in April.
Mickey McCarter: How has it been touring with Boy George? Any highs you might share?
Cyndi Lauper: It’s been great. I love other artists. But being with George is different. For the last few, I was with George and Rosie [O’Donnell]. It was awesome. When you get to work with friends, it’s nice. It’s not always great working, but when you work with friends and it’s successful, it’s really nice. And I get to sing with them.
You’ve got to enjoy people while they are here. It’s been a weird year for music on the planet. We’ve lost a couple of really really great ones.
And Boy George is a light in the world. He just has this great vibe. And his voice and his music and the way he looks at the music — it’s really interesting.
I think he’s great, and I feel really honored to sing with him. It’s kind of awesome. I’ll miss him.
MM: The reviews so far have really praised your delivery of your Prince song “When You Were Mine.”
CL: I’ve been singing that since 1983! It’s really been a party of my repertoire for a long time. And he was always so generous to us. If I needed it for the True Colors Fund or the True Colors Tour, and I had to put out something, he always let me use it.
He was always always generous. Omigod! I miss him. It really got to me. It really did. I didn’t expect it.
Everybody is now, “oh, Prince, Prince, Prince.” But he always put his best foot forward. And he tried and tried. And he wanted it to be great. And I understand that.
That’s why I’m so grateful to sing with Boy George right now. I’ve known him forever, and I never sang with him. And now I’m getting to sing with him. It’s another bucket list for me.
I want to do everything now. I was always told you can’t do this and you can’t do that. And now I can do whatever what. And I want to enjoy the people while they are here.
This is the last one, and I’m so excited to see him again.
I’m pleased to report that it was indeed awesome.
Boy George will return to the DC metro area with Culture Club to perform at the Music Center at Strathmore on Sunday, Sept. 11. Tickets are not yet on sale, but for more information, visit https://www.strathmore.org/events-and-tickets/culture-club.