The Buffalo News
Friday night in Avalon Ballroom
Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort.
Another performance at 8:30 tonight
By Benjamin Siegel
NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. - Let's get it out of the way here.
It was on the mind of every concertgoer at Friday night's first of two appearances by Olivia Newton-John - the mysterious disappearance of her boyfriend in 2005, which has plagued her in the press as well as in the hearts of fans worldwide.
The Australian-born singer who made a name for herself stateside with the hits "I Honestly Love You" and "Xanadu," and of course that little film starring John Travolta - "Grease" - has filled her career with soaring ballads of broken hearts, prevailing resurgence and heartfelt sisterhood. Whether it was her successful triumph over breast cancer or this latest tragedy, it has been an uphill climb - something audiences can surely relate to in their own ways.
Such was the feeling during the show, onstage and off. Subdued and almost too calm to be performing a sold-out show in the Niagara Fallsview Casino and resort, Newton-John was everything we know her to be on film: Petite and withheld, yet sexy and ferocious when unleashed.
Her latest release, "Grace and Gratitude," a disc full of the kind of inspirational melodies that have connected her to so many fans in every corner of the planet, opened and closed the show… It is full of fun, offers memories from eras past - and very pertinently - the life today of this very human star.
(This Tabloidbaby.com newsite debuted online on November 11, 2005. Our second post read: "Scandal: No justice for Patrick McDermott: Here we have a Hollywood mystery with more twists and clues than a Michael Connelly novel, all in plain sight. So why did the media drop the story?")