'Kylie Minogue n'a jamais approché le pouvoir de Madonna'.
Pop star Kylie Minogue performs at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC
She's par & feathered
Last Updated: 12:59 PM, May 4, 2011
Posted: 9:59 PM, May 3, 2011
KYLIE MINOGUE Final show tonight at 8. Hammerstein Ballroom, 311 W. 34th St.
Whether it was her 2005 battle with breast cancer or her ongoing struggle for a footing on American music charts, 42-year-old Kylie Minogue is a survivor, and her three-show Hammerstein Ballroom series is testament to her lust for life and professional persistence.
In Europe, the UK and her native Australia, Minogue is a huge, mainstream act; in the US over the past 20 years, she's flown under the radar.
The lavishly staged production, harkening to ancient Greece, included a columned temple, a life-size statue of winged-horse Pegasus, male aerial dancers, female dancers in togas and a garrison of guys in Trojan armor and helmets. The Dolce & Gabbana costumes were also feather-heavy, with some angel-wing outfits that would make Icarus jealous.
If you needed any more reminders that Minogue's 2010 synth-pop record was titled "Aphrodite," early in the concert Kylie stood on a golden half-shell as if she were painted by Botticelli.
The kitsch was rampant. For the song "I Believe in You," Minogue rolled across the stage singing from a gilded chariot pulled by male dancers wearing little more than leather hitching straps. Despite the many risqué references, the show never stepped over line to get an adults-only rating.
Still, the toga-party stage antics were distracting. With all the goings-on, you might not even have noticed that Minogue's dance pop is limited by her thin voice. She stayed in tune and on time, but she never approached the power of Madonna, her longtime pop competition.
At this show, Minogue's vocals were bolstered by two female backup singers, except for on a couple of numbers. When she did sing alone, as she did late in the concert for the jazzy part of "Slow" (before the tune breaks into a dance rave) the mousiness in her pipes was apparent.
She did do an admirable job on a cover of Carole King's classic "The Loco-Motion," but Kylie never came close to Little Eva's defining version.
Minogue's emphasis on musical-theater gimmicks wrongly places the weight of her concert on sight rather than sound.