POP and JAZZ REVIEWS : Lauper Delivers for Her Fans

If you've ever been to a "Star Trek" convention, you would have had an uneasy sense of deja vu Friday at the Henry Ford Theatre for Cyndi Lauper's first Los Angeles concert in five years.

The star showed up more than an hour late but was nonetheless met by a sea of worshipful fans of all sizes, shapes, colors and ages, many carrying bouquets of flowers or collector's items for her to sign. To judge from the shouted responses to everything she said, most were familiar with every obscure turn in the career of the onetime darling of the New Wave and the details of her personal life too.

A more timid personality might have been unnerved by the aggressiveness of some of the adulators, but Lauper was at ease with the attention. She early on shooed away the guards ringing the stage and greeted the fans who ran up to touch her with a hug, even posing with some of them for pictures in the middle of singing a song.

Those few in the crowd who weren't yet converts were surely won over by the concert's conclusion. Backed by a crack assembly of musicians, the platinum-and-pink-haired pixie, who at 40 could pass for half that, ran through the tracks from her upcoming album, "Hat Full of Stars." From the beautifully fragile "Sally's Pigeons," which Lauper co-wrote with Mary-Chapin Carpenter, to the gyrating "Broken Glass," the songs effectively synthesized the best aspects of contemporary pop. Most refreshing of all, Lauper dropped her affected Brooklyn accent when she sang in favor of a forceful purr.

And yes, girls do still want to have fun, although she expressed reservations about singing her signature song, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," at her age and has revamped it as a Jamaican-style dance hall number.

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