*It was a family affair during the finale of Diana Ross’ concert for Brooklyn’s restored Kings Theatre Tuesday night.
The venue, after closing nearly four decades ago and falling into massive disrepair, was restored to the tune of some $95 million. The theater seating more than 3,000 is now once again the borough’s largest.
Its grand reopening featured Ross, performing her massive string of hits, beginning with “I’m Coming Out” from the back of the house, with her proceeding down the aisle towards the stage while being thronged by fans. It ended with her daughter Rhonda and son Evan onstage – the latter accompanied by his now-pregnant wife Ashlee Simpson – for a rendition of “I Will Survive.”
The Hollywood Reporter has the details:
Hit after hit followed [“I’m Coming Out”], beginning with a string of Supremes songs that established the nostalgic mood. She performed a healthy selection of her solo hits, as well as covers by the likes of Dusty Springfield (“The Look of Love”), Billie Holiday (“Don’t Explain,” from Lady Sings the Blues), Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell (“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”) and Gloria Gaynor (“I Will Survive”).
There were, needless to say, numerous costume changes — five in all — with the 70-year-old singer looking resplendent in a series of glittery gowns and frequently cooling herself with a large fan. Sounding in fine voice, she was accompanied by a terrific twelve-piece band and three back-up singers.
The 80-minute show proceeded at a frenetic pace, with the star barreling from one number to the next. It wasn’t until late in the evening that she acknowledged her surroundings, marveling at “this beautiful palace” and commenting, “I feel like a queen!”
Giving instructions to turn the house lights up, she instructed the audience, “Take a look around guys…can you see how beautiful this is?”
For the reprise of the Gloria Gaynor anthem she brought her daughter Rhonda and son Evan onstage, the latter accompanied by his now-pregnant wife Ashlee Simpson and her 6-year-old son. It added a nice family element to a celebratory evening that marked a new beginning for the historic venue.
I’m Coming Out
More Today Than Yesterday
My World is Empty Without You
Stop! In the Name of Love
You Can’t Hurry Love
Touch Me in the Morning
Love Hangover/Take Me Higher/Ease on Down the Road
The Look of Love
Why Do Fools Fall in Love
Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
I Will Survive
Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)
I Will Survive