An Evening with Olivia Newton-John

Venue: The Thrasher-Horne Center for the Arts
Date: March 4, 2017

Summer lovin’ happened so fast. Summer lovin’ we had a blast. Olivia Newton-John‘s performance was certainly a blast from the past. She opened up with my favorite hit singles from her 1980 cult classic film Xanadu. After belting out the title song, she followed up with Suddenly and Magic. She spoke briefly about the duet with her daughter, Chloe, that they performed for Xanadu’s 35th Anniversary. Olivia’s magical presence in musical history has spanned over five decades beginning with her first album ‘If Not For You’ in 1971. Even though she didn’t sing any songs from that album, she did highlight her career by performing songs that have made her one of the best-selling artists of all time.

When she donned her country gear and alerted the audience that she was singing songs from that period in her in life, I was pleasantly surprised when she did a mash up Jolene, Please Mr. Please, Have You Ever Been Mellow, and I Honestly Love You. The last song was dedicated to her fans when she took the time to let the audience know that she honestly loves us. Switching gears she wowed the audience with an energetically vibrant rendition of her hit song Physical before she moved on to sharing her love for animals and the environment by performing The Promise (aka The Dolphin Song) and Don’t Cut Me Down.

Then the tone became even more serious when Olivia reminisced about her battle with cancer in 1992 and her foundation of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre in Victoria Australia. The loss of her sister to brain cancer inspired the album ‘Liv On‘ in 2013. That album was a collaboration with Beth Nielsen Chapman and Amy Sky that helped them through the grieving process of losing a loved one to the disease.

After sharing that tender moment with the audience, Olivia bounced back with her amazing band the back-up singers in an attempt to liven up her fans with songs from Grease. She absolutely sparkled on stage with Hopelessly Devoted to You, You are the One That I Want, Summer Nights and We Go Together. Throughout the 90 minutes of her performance, Olivia charmed the audience when she would take a sip of water and salute us with the most endearing ‘cheers’. America’s sweetheart from Australia graced the stage of The Thrasher-Horne with all of the style that she has accumulated over the years. If you have a chance to see her perform, please Mr. please seize the opportunity.

The Thrasher-Horne’s dedication to providing the very best of professional theater, dance, and musical performances shines through the talent that they have attracted and continue to book for the Orange Park, Florida and surrounding communities. For future events, please visit their website at or contact the box office at (904) 276-6815.

About Laura McDonald