Lauren Jade - A Tribute To The Living Legend Gladys Knight: The Empress of Soul.
Called by many "The Queen of Motown, The Empress of Soul", Gladys with her Pips (brother and two cousins) produced a huge collection of stellar long-lasting classic tunes, many of which are performed here at Act2PV tonight. She is a seven-time Grammy Award-winner.
Lauren, a Montgomery, Alabama native, is currently making waves of splashes in the new "Motown Classic Revue" which was created by Keith Anthony. That show, Lionel Richie/Stevie Wonder and this Gladys Knight creation express his concepts. Her talent abounds in this venue while she makes more friends show after show with her vocals soaring to clear concise high notes as she twirls them all around.
Kevin entered and graciously chatted about knowing Lauren and having this presentation in mind with her eagerly joining with him. He rendered a preview of his Lionel Richie show with "Say You, Say Me", giving but a glimpse of his relaxed smooth delivery. Our community has a star who burst onto the scene and spreads his glowing light pleasing attendees who learn of his abilities.
Lauren entered wearing a shiny silver beaded black dress demonstrating immediately how relaxed she is on stage talking to people. She is headquartered in Charleston, North Carolina, a Southern girl. The audience members took time to see her and now everyone are friends. She broke into the Gladys smash hit "I've Got to Use My Imagination" and then talked about the form this night was going to take. She called it "A path of love", spanning her first young love, ups and downs as she grew in age to finding good true love, incorporating the inspirational lyrics of these songs to explain her personal journey. This song represented continuing life after a bad breakup: "To think of good reasons to keep on keepin' on. I've got to make the best of a bad situation." Lauren admitted, "In the 33 short years of my life, I am still trying to find my way."
She lamented that when in love, along comes gossip, which she heard about but did not believe. "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" - "Not much longer would you be mine." But Lauren picked herself up and would not allow this wonderment deter her future seeking of a lover. Her voice blended with the rhythmic beat and thumping. Hers was a standout performance. She related that even at a young age listening to Gladys songs played by her parents that the words had meaning in her approach to life and then love.
She thought that she had found love but it was not the case. "Neither One of Us" wants to be the first to say goodbye led the couple to fake romance when both knew it was over. Lauren's heart could be heard breaking as the words came out. She disappeared into the song and the results were overwhelming appreciation of her massive vocal talents.
A cover which Gladys recorded, "I Hope You Dance", is a song by Lee Ann Womack whom Laurel loves very much for her fine voice and style. In this world full of confusion threatening to explode, Lauren called upon every person present to work for goodness and be kind, not succumb to the crashing noise. She said to dance in life, not stand alongside and allow the problems to overwhelm them.
After a short break, Lauren reappeared bringing the audience to attention with the affirmative "Love Overboard", singing of the joy she has found. She said this time was her "My My My Lust!" She discussed her times on the Carnival Cruise Line, singing and working with other artists and befriending one man and they became very close but nothing more. She traveled through the story of the gradual change of friendship to romance after over six years. They are together now for four years. "If I Were Your Woman" describes her feelings toward him but realizing their relationship was not what she imagined. The two discussed their relationship and decided to "give it a try".
Lauren said that when you mention Gladys Knight, this is her classic, classic song: "Midnight Train to Georgia", all about returning to the old familiar upbringings. Her voice resembles that of Gladys so much that if you closed your eyes, you may think they are one in the same. Lauren spoke of the very first song recorded and released being "Every Beat of My Heart" which she dedicated to the couples in the room. Five years later, she and her group joined Berry Gordy and Motown Records. There she soared to fame with enormous radio-play hits and sales. Tonight, the background music was original Gladys tracks recording including The Pips at times.
She mined from deep within her heart "Memories", the classic standard Barbra Streisand song, leading in with a slice of "Try to Remember". "I didn't realize how many songs Gladys covered", said Lauren, "until I started researching for the show." Her interpretation was more bold and soulful than the original. Lauren owned the song and shaped it to her voice and body movements.
Lauren dedicated her last song to everyone in the cabaret since "We all are friends now": "That's What Friends Are For" recorded with Dionne Warwick, a contemporary artist of Gladys' who also slowly grew into a major singing star. "For good times and bad times, I'll be on your side forever more." Her connection to those gathered was strongly evident as she whirled the notes, dropping into low, soft notes, then reaching upward hitting accurately and adding many of her own. She took the songs then made them hers.
But she changed her mind about ending and decided to sing the full song which she had included only a snippet in her opening night show: "Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me": "If anyone should ever write my life story for whatever reason there might be. You'll be there between each line of pain and glory." Sweet happiness flowed from her voice at last.
As she pointed at every person, she expressed with her beautiful voice the feelings of friendship and love for coming to her show and hopefully understanding her path of life. She suggested, "Let you know a little bit about me." What was learned was this woman is a professional established star whom we hope to hear and see more on this stage.
More photos available on my Facebook Shows group below.
Act II Entertainment - Act2PV - Red Room
Insurgentes 300 (corner of Basilio Badillo and Insurgentes), second floor
Romantic Zone/SouthSide, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco.
Show information: www.act2pv.com
The box office is open from 10 am - 10 pm.
Puerto Vallarta OldTown/SouthSide:
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