If you had told 10-year-old me he’d someday lock eyes across a room from pop star Tiffany, he’d never believe you. How could he ever get that close to America’s late-’80s darling, and his first celebrity crush?
Yet that’s exactly what happened on Sunday night, when – almost 35 years later – we were in the same room, about 30 feet apart, for the better part of 90 minutes at the very intimate Music Room Cape Cod in Yarmouth.
I swear, she was looking directly at me on multiple occasions, as I sat along the rail at the back of the VIP seating section of one of the coolest music venues I’ve ever visited, listening to how much she has matured as a singer and songwriter.
When I first heard Tiffany was coming to the Cape, playing such a small venue, I wondered why she would be playing for about 100 people when just a few years ago, she was playing stadiums and arenas on The Mixtape Tour alongside fellow ‘80s and ‘90s megastars Debbie Gibson, Salt-n-Pepa, Naughty by Nature and New Kids on the Block.
As it turned out, this show was a fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network, a cause close to Tiffany’s heart and the beneficiary of the ongoing Give Music Tour, which is her chance to play more intimate venues and share stories and experiences with her most ardent fans around the bigger shows she does.
She called the show “Rhythm and Retro,” as she played fan favorites and a few covers. From the show-opening “I Saw Him Standing There,” her reworking of the Beatles’ classic, to closing with her biggest hit, her cover of Tommy James’ “I Think We’re Alone Now,” every song took on new life with her matured voice – which is even bigger and more powerful than it was when she was hitting those notes at the end of “Could’ve Been” back at age 14.
Other songs performed included “Radio Romance” from her second album Hold an Old Friend's Hand (which she said was a song she hated until she realized how much the fans love it), “Beautiful” from her 2018 acclaimed album Pieces of Me, “Hey Baby” from her latest album Shadows, and classics like “Feelings of Forever” and “Danny” from her first, self-titled album.
She also put her own distinct flair into a pair of ‘80s covers – ”Voices Carry,” the ‘Til Tuesday classic, and The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven.”
It's also a huge plus that Tiffany, now 51, had such powerful songs to record as a teenager. Her hits take on new meaning when heard through adult ears, and the decades since they were first released have allowed her to put more life experience behind them. No offense to the great Debbie Gibson, but there's a big difference between singing "Could've Been" at middle age rather than "Shake Your Love."
Tiffany has a lot going on these days. Shadows was just released last week and she’s planning a big tour to promote it. The first of two cookbooks, Breakfast With Tiffany, will be released in just a few weeks. In addition to her music, she also has numerous brands including her food group Let’s Food With Tiffany, her online fashion boutique Radikal Redz, and much more. She ties it all together through her website.
Of course, Tiffany will always be known as the pop princess who blew up in 1987 thanks to a tour of malls across America. She joked at the start of the show that she had been shopping earlier that day at the Cape Cod Mall in nearby Hyannis.
“That’s right, Tiffany’s still at the mall,” she said with a laugh. “I can’t not go to the mall!”
Tiffany explained right from the start of the show that just about every penny raised that night was going toward Children’s Miracle Network, from ticket sales to merchandise sales to auction items.
In fact, two guitars signed by Tiffany were auctioned off, including a chance to hang out with her backstage after the show. They each went for $600. There was also an original Tiffany denim jacket up for sale that also included a meet and greet.
The “Give Music Tour” has been an ongoing fundraising effort by Tiffany’s tour manager Garret Lauer, who is consistently one of the top fundraisers for the Children’s Miracle Network, which raises money to fund children’s hospitals across the nation.
Lauer has a fundraising goal of $200,000 for 2022, and entered the night $47,000 away from the goal, which he hopes to hit by December 31.
The night was also a celebration of Given Lauer, the young son of Lauer and his wife Agata, who was diagnosed with a tailbone tumor when still in the womb but now, almost a year old, he is cancer-free.
The Music Room is a 99-seat venue that opened in 2021. It’s described as a “gallery and wine bar” but when you enter, you can feel that music is more than just in its name.
It’s described on the website as “a venue created by musicians for musicians and fans alike,” and with the close proximity to the stage from nearly every vantage point, and the amazing acoustics and sound system, it lives up to that statement.
The Music Room has previously featured artists such as Sophie B. Hawkins (“Damn Wish I Was Your Lover”), country star Billy Gilman, hip hop’s G. Love, and Vocal Group Hall of Famers Jay and the Americans.
With 14 tables (mostly tables of four with a few two-person tables), six rail seats and a general admission area around the bar, this hidden gem at the end of a strip mall on Main Street in Yarmouth is a place to experience great live music, with a variety of local, national and international acts, and for special performances like Tiffany gave on Sunday night.
After waiting “All This Time” to see Tiffany, I’m glad it got to be at such a great venue, and for such a great cause.