Jan 22 2010

South Florida Times Reviews Mariah's FL Show

< > Mariah Carey struts, sings and sips at the Hard Rock
From the onstage hair styling and application of makeup, to sipping water from a champagne glass, Mariah Carey took the diva effect to her own level in a sold-out performance at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near Hollywood last week.

Descending from the ceiling of the elegantly decorated stage swathed in shades of purple, Carey greeted her fans' deafening screams by going into some of her most popular songs, including "Touch my Body," and "Shake it Off," before slowing it down with a touching tribute to Haiti with "Angels Cry."

It's the mix of tunes, combined with the very elegantly attired, coiffed and meticulously made-up woman that underscores the complexities which define Mariah Carey. She's like a little girl playing dress up – brilliantly becoming a multi-millionaire and one of the most popular female singers in the world in the process.

Carey is aware of the media's scrutiny of her every move. When she sipped water from a champagne glass, she playfully told the audience, "It's water. It's water. They make such a big deal about everything," alluding to recent reports.

"This is not an alcoholic beverage, it's water in a champagne glass, because that's the way I like to drink my water," she assured adoring fans that sang along with virtually every song at her Jan. 21 performance.

Backed by a talented, four-member band, three background singers and a cadre of dancers, Carey covered the entire stage.

Fully and unapologetically owning her self-proclaimed diva status endears Carey to her fans. When she acknowledged that having her hair and makeup touched up on stage was "over-the-top-behavior," and then told the audience, "If you were me, you'd do the same thing," she got a big "I ain't mad at you, Mariah," laugh from the crowd.

Carey borrowed from legendary diva Diana Ross with her own version of "Love Hangover," and allowed her dancers to strut their stuff for most of "Make it Happen," before taking the stage to belt out the bridge.

Trey Lorenz, Carey's honey-voiced partner on the Michael Jackson remake of "I'll Be There," took the stage for a soulful rendition of the King of Pop's "Rock with You" during one of Carey's three costume changes.

While her show last Thursday was definitely entertaining, it's Carey's determination to be true to herself that has won my respect.

--By Renee Michelle Harris, South Florida Times.
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