Olivia Newton-John takes audiences on a musical journey
Parce qu'elle sera en concert le 16 octobre prochain au Gallo Center de Modesto, Olivia Newton-John a accordé une interview au site Modbee.com.
Pas de réelles surprises, ni de scoop .. sauf .. lorsqu'elle dit "we have some audience participation that I don’t want to tell you about as that would ruin the surprise ..."
A suivre donc ..
Australian performer comes to the Gallo Center on Friday, Oct. 16
Singer extended her Las Vegas residency at the Flamingo
New dance song with daughter landed in the Billboard charts
BY MARIJKE ROWLAND
Olivia Newton-John really needs no introductions.
She was Sandy from “Grease.” She starred in the roller-skating cult classic “Xanadu.” She has won four Grammy Awards. She has sold more than 100 million albums. She is Olivia Newton-John, that charismatic ray of Australian sunshine who kept fans hopelessly devoted for more than five decades.
The 67-year-old entertainer continues to woo audiences with her new Las Vegas show, which started in April 2014. Since taking up residence at the Flamingo, Newton-John has brought in crowds to her “Summer Nights” show and recently extended her stay into January 2016.
The singer also made a return to the Billboard charts – where she had No. 1 hits with songs such as “I Honestly Love You,” “Have You Never Been Mellow” and “Physical” – with the new dance club number “You Have To Believe.” Newton-John is featured on the Dave Aude track along with her daughter, Chloe Lattanzi. The song reinterprets Newton-John’s No. 1 1980 hit “Magic.”
Newton-John spoke with The Modesto Bee via email while back in Australia on a break from her Vegas show.
Q: You landed back on the dance charts for the first time in 20 years with “You Have To Believe,” which also features your daughter. Tell me how that project with David Aude came about and what it was like working together with your daughter.
A: I’m so excited – especially for Chloe, as this is her first Top 20 Billboard hit. Originally, Dave approached me about working together, but Chloe and I had been wanting to work together on a project, so it all just worked out. Chloe wrote some new lyrics to my hit “Magic,” along with a wonderful Australian songwriter named Vassy – and John Farrar let us use the original chorus. People really seem to be loving it, and the music video, too, which we shot in Las Vegas at Share Nightclub and the Neon Museum using some great cameos from different Vegas shows from Jubilee to Chippendales.
Q: What does it mean to you to have her follow in your footsteps?
A: I am really excited for her, but I would be as excited for her no matter what it was she wanted to do. I’ve always known she had all of this talent, and now I get to show the world, “Look, isn’t she fantastic!” It’s really wonderful that as a result of this new song and video there is so much interest in her from production companies and TV networks. In fact, just after the video premiered, she was cast in a new TV film for the Syfy Network, called “Dead 7.” She joins members from N’Sync, the Backstreet Boys and a lot of other music artists and celebrities. They even wrote the role especially for her, so that was wonderful.
Q: You extended your first Las Vegas residency at the Flamingo into January. What has it been like to have the residency, and why did you want to extend it?
A: I’m really loving it. There are so many wonderful places in Vegas and things to do that are beyond just The Strip. My husband and I love to take our dog hiking in Red Rock Canyon and seeing all of the beautiful nature that surrounds Las Vegas. The community is also so wonderful and I’m enjoying being a part of it. As for the residency, it’s wonderful that I can be in one place, sleep in the same bed and, most of all, have the chance to see so many of my fans who come from all over the world to see the show. But what’s really most special for me is that a portion of every ticket sold to the show benefits the wellness programs at my Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre at home in Melbourne, Australia.
Q: Speaking of your residency, you recently teamed with Legends in Concert to find the first Olivia Newton-John tribute artist for the series. What has that experience been like so far, and what are you looking for in a tribute artist? How does it feel reaching tribute artist status?
A: Well, we just launched it, so I haven’t seen any of the submissions yet, but Legends is such a wonderful show with really talented performers, so I’m excited to see who enters the contest. I am just honored that I’ve had so many wonderful songs and hits that people still turn up to hear me sing. Hopefully whoever wins won’t take my place in my own show!
Q: Last year, you released an EP, “The Hotel Sessions,” of some unreleased demos. What made you want to bring those songs out into the light?
A: That album was very special to me as I had spent about 10 years writing and recording songs with my nephew Brett Goldsmith in hotel rooms every time I would go to Australia for an event or visit. Brett is my sister Rona’s son, who I sadly lost a few years ago to brain cancer. She always wanted to have those songs out there. So the CD is really in honor of and dedicated to her.
Q: “Xanadu” recently celebrated its 35th anniversary. What do you think it was about that project that has made it such a cult icon, and did you realize while making it the staying power it would have?
A: First and foremost, the music was fantastic – and I got to dance with Gene Kelly! How many people get to say that? I always say that “Xanadu” was ahead of its time. Kenny Ortega, our choreographer, was really on the cutting edge with all of the street dancing and wonderful specialty performers. The script, on the other hand, needed a lot of work. That being said, it’s become a cult classic, which is really wonderful. A few years ago, they turned it into a very successful Broadway musical that toured the world and is opening in London soon. They really made the show very campy and fun – I thought it was hysterical.
Q: Any interest in getting back into acting?
A: I’m not opposed to it – it would just have to be the right script or project. I would love to do something with my daughter again. We did a few films together when she was younger, and it would be fun to work together again on set of a new project.
Q: Because of your diverse career, you must have a wide breadth of fans, from your acting, music and more. Do you attempt to bridge and address all those interests in your shows?
A: I’ve been very lucky in my career, as I mentioned earlier. I’ve had some wonderful songs and producers, so that really helps. My show is pretty much a musical journey through my career – from my early country hits to the songs from “Grease” and “Xanadu,” as well as “Physical” and songs I think people expect to hear. I also have some new songs that are very personal to me that are just a joy to sing every night.
Q: What can people expect from the live show when it stops here in Modesto?
A: Like I said, it’s a musical journey through my career. Lots of fun (I hope), and we have some audience participation that I don’t want to tell you about as that would ruin the surprise. I am really looking forward to seeing my fans in Modesto! And if they can’t make it to the show, they can always come to Vegas – it’s not far!
When: 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16
Where: Rogers Theater, Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto