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Lauper shares her talent with fans time after time

Cyndi Lauper’s latest album includes country song duets.
Cyndi Lauper’s latest album includes country song duets. Associated Press file

A dynamic teaming of Cyndi Lauper and the Indigo Girls will take the outdoor stage at Thunder Valley on Friday night, Sept. 23, the second-to-last weekend of the amphitheater season. These musicians began their careers in the 1980s and show no sign of slowing down.

Lauper’s debut album, “She’s So Unusual,” in 1983 not only had a perfect title for a career that was to follow but also made history by having four Top 5 songs. “Girls Just Want To Have Fun,” “Time After Time,” “She Bop,” and “All Through the Night” landed Lauper at the top of her field immediately, and then she defied the sophomore curse with “True Colors” in 1986.

Lauper has branched out from pop, winning a Tony in 2013 for the score she wrote for “Kinky Boots,” still running on Broadway, and this year releasing “Detour,” a compilation of country songs including duets with Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, Willie Nelson and Jewel.

The Indigo Girls – Emily Saliers and Amy Ray – established their credentials in 1987 and continue performing, often with a healthy dose of activism. They recently made news by apologizing for performing in the Cherokee Creek Music Festival because it was operated by one of the heads of the company trying to build the controversial pipeline in North Dakota. They are active in a get-out-the-vote movement this season. (7 p.m.; $47.75-$189.75;

Then a night later, the amphitheater hosts Smokey Robinson and Arsenio Hall.

It’s one of those show-business ironies that a performer is remembered for something decades ago rather than what he’s done since. Hall has done plenty since that late-night talk show from 1989-1994. Still, don’t be surprised if some “Roo, roo, roo” cheers (a response that stood for applause on that late television show) pop up at his Saturday, Sept. 24, performance with Smokey Robinson at Thunder Valley. Most recently, Hall has been the host of this year’s “Greatest Hits” on ABC.

As for Smokey Robinson, with more than 4,000 songs and a pivotal musical career, suffice to say he is this year’s recipient of the Gershwin Prize, given by the Library of Congress for a lifetime of contributions to popular music. (7 p.m.; $39/75-$179.75)


Plug your ears if you’re visiting Reno this weekend because Street Vibrations will be in full roar with more than 50,000 bikers expected to participate.