BWW Reviews: Diana Ross Reigns Supreme in Concert Despite Lack of Intimacy
Timeless? Yes. Classic? Yes. Legendary? Absolutely. Original? Well, maybe not.
Superstar Diva, Diana Ross performed an uninterrupted 85 minutes at the Ohio Theatre to her Motown classics, "Baby, Baby," "Stop! In the Name of Love," "Upside Down," "Touch Me in the Morning," "Why Do Fools Fall in Love," "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," and "I Will Survive," just to name a few. Ms. Ross was a well-oiled machine and her voice surely did not falter. With approximately five costume changes in varying shades of sequins, Ms. Ross dazzled the Columbus audience with her style as well as her timeless classics. However, this well-oiled machine offered nothing more than her legendary hits. It was all about the music on this night. No Ohio shout-outs, no intimate dedications, no personal stories, no recollection of memories, no tributes to Michael Jackson... simply the music. It stood alone and uninterrupted, a straight perfunctory list of songs, one after another, with minimal audience connection or intimacy. At times I felt as if she was a screenshot put on a stage and just going through the motions, singing the top 22 songs deemed by a computer as the most exciting of her career.
The sets offered a scrolling chronology of Ross's personal photos on a big screen behind her, giving audience members a look back on her undeniably successful career, from her early days with The Supremes to her incredible solo career, releasing more than 67 albums and selling more than 100 million records. After singing "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" and during another costume change, I enjoyed the Baritone Saxophonist and Trumpeter dueling it out in an impressive one-on-one battle. Ms. Ross's back-up singers were especially remarkable, belting out solos of their own during the encore of "Reach Out and Touch."
There can be no doubt that Diana Ross still remains one of the most accomplished female artists of our time, spanning success in music, film, television, and Broadway. She is a true American Icon, who has received awards and nominations for Golden Globes, Academy Awards, American Music Awards, Grammy Awards, and Tony Awards, not to mention being named "Female Entertainer of the Century" by Billboard Magazine, as well as being dubbed "most successful female music artist in history" by Guinness Book of World Records.
Maybe saying "Thank you so much; you have good vibrations; I loved seeing your faces," at the very end of the show was all the Columbus audience needed from this true American Legend.... But then again, a little "O-H..." wouldn't have killed anyone."