New Stories

Olivia Newton-John is an Angel

by Courtney Gaffey

On Nov. 13, Olivia Newton-John stopped by The Palace Theatre in Greensburg. Anyone who knows me knows I love “Grease.” I had to be there – and I was.

Newton-John sparkled head to toe, looking like the freaking diamond she is. The 69-year-old rocked a sequined shirt, sparkly pants, and sparkling red shoes. And her voice surpassed what I was expecting. I didn’t expect her to be bad, but at 69 I assumed she’d have trouble hitting all of those high notes. But, with a bottle of water at her side and a cheeky “cheers!” to the audience every time she’d take a sip, she didn’t struggle at all. She’s perfection. Sandy is alive, and I was quaking.

During the show, she opened up about her past, primarily her struggles with two bouts of breast cancer, and I realized in that moment she truly was an angel. She may have sported a cowboy hat for her country music, which is where her career began, but a halo would’ve been fitting, too. As I mentioned before, I’m a huge “Grease” fan, so naturally those were the songs I was belting. I, unfortunately, didn’t know much music from her solo career.

I did, however, know every word to “You’re the One That I Want,” “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” and “Summer Nights.” Did I lose my voice? I don’t want to talk about it. And, while we’re on the topic of “Grease,” can we take a moment to recognize that next year is the 40th anniversary of that masterpiece? Forget High School Musical, I’m a Pink Lady. My body is not ready for this.

Newton-John closed the show with her song “I Honestly Love You,” but after a standing ovation from the crowd, my girl came back out on stage. With the spotlight on her and her pianist behind her, she covered “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” And just like that, the show was over, and everyone drifted away, like those summer days.

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