It’s been barely a month since Cyndi Lauper added a Tony to her awards shelf (leaving her an Oscar away from the coveted EGOT), but she’s already had to shift her attention from Awards Show High to Reality of Tour.
Three days after the ceremony, when she became the first solo female to win a Tony for best score — one of the six trophies earned by the spirited musical “Kinky Boots” — Lauper packed up 14 pieces of luggage and embarked on a 23-date tour to celebrate the 30th anniversary of her debut album, “She’s So Unusual.”
The album has sold more than 16 million copies worldwide, and she’ll perform it in its entirety at her Tuesday appearance at Symphony Hall. Not only will fans receive the hit list of “Time After Time,” “She Bop,” “All Through the Night,” “Money Changes Everything” and, of course, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” but also the quirky interlude “He’s So Unusual” and her version of Prince’s “When You Were Mine,” among other tracks.
In a touch of full circle-ness, the long-shuttered Record Plant studio, where Lauper recorded “She’s So Unusual,” is around the corner from the home of “Kinky Boots” at Broadway’s Al Hirschfeld Theatre.
“My life just happens the way it did,” Lauper said last week from a tour stop in Texas. “My career was not like any of my peers. I gave up trying to be like my peers. I think I scared some of the older guys. I was so women’s lib and they so weren’t.”
Since having a conversation with Lauper is a bit like herding cats — and we mean that with complete affection — we’ll get out of the way and let her talk.
On the Supreme Court gay marriage ruling:
“I’m happy for all of the people who had to live on the sidelines watching other people live. All anybody wants is just to be fair. It doesn’t matter anymore because there’s going to be so many people for it that the few can’t stop it. You can’t put women back in the Dark Ages and you can’t tell people you have a problem with the lifestyle of the gay/transgender community when now they want to be monogamous. Diversity makes our country stronger. You look at the Statue of Liberty, her arms are open. You know who built the bridges and tunnels? The immigrants. My family, your family.”
On the setup of the tour:
“The whole show is pretty full on, and the talking is so much with stories about making the CD. But when I don’t talk, I feel bad because you don’t want (the audience) to feel like they don’t matter.”
On the creation of “She’s So Unusual”:
“When I was arranging the music, I took things from everywhere. With “Girls,” I couldn’t do (songwriter) Rob Hazard’s version because it wasn’t for a woman to sing. He had his unique style, but I had to come up with a style that would work for me, just like any dress you put on. I took a piece of what I remembered listening to as a kid, ads for Raceway Park, and the sounds of the keyboard and the sounds of the little things that I remembered growing up in New York, the Motown stuff and the new snare sound that was out on the street, which I adored.
“I took things and mixed them together so it had a sound that rang more bells in your head. That summer vacation feel. Coney Island. Bright sun. Primary colors. I took everything that I knew from art and music and put it together on the album. (With “Girls”) I was trumpeting a song that was about entitlement, and when it came to the visual, I wanted every little girl to see herself — as many as I could get in one picture — and know she was also entitled, and she, too, could be a free spirit.”
On celebrating her 60th birthday on June 22:
“I’ll celebrate on vacation with my family, but I was with my other family — my band — and they had a little flourless cake for me. It was gluten-free. I can’t do the gluten, I’m allergic. But I feel very grateful for everything.”
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For more of the Cyndi Lauper interview, visit The Music Scene blog at www.accessatlanta.com.