Diana Ross stepped onto the Mahaffey theater stage Tuesday wrapped like a Christmas present in red sequins and organza and gave fans the gift of her music.
The ageless 69-year-old First Lady of Motown made her entrance to the hit “I'm Coming Out,” followed by a string of classics that included “Baby Love,'' “Stop! In the Name of Love'' and “You Can't Hurry Love'' from her days as lead singer of The Supremes.
Backed by a nine-piece orchestra and three back-up singers, she moved effortlessly through a catalog of hits that included “Love Child,” “Upside Down,'' “Love Hangover'' and “Ease on Down the Road'' from The Wiz!
During the 80-minute show to a near capacity crowd, the singing legend moved through four glitzy gown changes, each one one drawing oohhs and aahhs from the audience.
When Ross returned to stage after her third outfit change, a black body-hugging gown with a neon green feather wrap, she launched into several jazz standards, performing “The Look of Love” and “Don't Explain'' from “Lady Sings the Blues.”
The audience , made up of Baby Boomers and thirty-something's, cheered, stood on their feet and even danced in the aisles to her string of Motown hits. Ross seemed to bask in the audience's energy, asking for the house lights to be turned up on several occasions “to see her fans' beautiful faces'' and to ask them to sing along. After more than 50 years in the music industry, Ross's voice never wavered.
She closed with fan favorites “Theme from Mahogany” and “Ain't No Mountain High Enough'' before closing with the Gloria Gaynor classic, “I Will Survive.'' When the crowd asked for more she returned with an encore of “I Will Survive,'' which brought the audience to its feet.