The day before her debut concert in Israel, pop icon Cyndi Lauper took time to support a cause close to her heart: LGBT rights. The icon insisted on visiting the city’s new memorial to gay Holocaust victims
Everyone’s favorite bad girl Cyndi Lauper is known for her anthem “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” but in Tel Aviv on Friday she took some time to get serious for her signature cause, the issue of gay rights.
Lauper, a longtime gay rights activist, who is in the Holy Land for a much-anticipated debut concert Saturday night at the Nokia Stadium in Tel Aviv, paid a visit to the city’s LGBT Community Center at Gan Meir Park. There, she met with some of the city’s leading queer activists, including representatives from the religious LGBT community; Hoshen, the education and information center of the community; and IGY, the nation’s Gay youth organization. She was on hand, she said, to use her celebrity status to bring attention to the organizations’ causes, but more importantly, she was there to listen.
Zuharit Shorek, who first organized the religious gay community in Tel Aviv, kicked off the event by explaining that the city’s LGBT community encourages its members to share their personal stories. And she shared her own story, of growing up Orthodox, and being all but disowned by her parents after coming out at the age of 29. Lauper, who in her trademark irreverent way was sporting tomato-pink hair and studded leather trousers, listened earnestly and at one point cut Shorek off to tell her that her Orthodox parents were the ones losing out.
“The people who are really going to miss out are not you and your lovely wife and your lovely kids. It’s the grandparents who will not have a chance to know their grandchildren,” she said to Shorek. “And that’s what you ought to tell them when they go and pray to their god, that they have no room in their heart for their own blood.”
Cyndi Lauper proves herself time after time in Tel Aviv
Cyndi Lauper let her true colors shine through on Saturday night at the Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv. Foul-mouthed, big-hearted and still quirky as hell after all these years, the bright-red haired, combat boot-wearing 60-year-old entertainer revisited her landmark debut album She’s So Unusual, performing it in its entirety upon its 30th anniversary.
Whether spinning like a dervish, climbing onto speaker stacks, roaming out into the audience, or getting down on her knees to sing, Lauper has lost none of her spunky spirit, nor her powerful lung capacity. Her crack band, anchored by bassist William Wittman who performed and acted as engineer and producer on She’s So Unusual back in 1983, accurately recaptured the new wave era, replete with echoing rim shots from the drums, cheesy synth riffs from the keyboards and upbeat dance tempos.
For the finale, perhaps her most loved song, “True Colors.” Performing the song on dulcimer, Lauper called out opening act- and Israel’s first ever Idol winner,Ninet- for a vocal duet.