Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
The lights lowered slowly until the stage was completely dark. Quietly at first, then growing to an ear-shattering level, the sound of thunder exploded from the loudspeakers. Smoke began to bellow from the center of the stage. Lights flashed on and off.
The sell-out crowd began shouting "Teddy, Teddy." And then, there he was, standing on a raised platform, enclosed in a cage of shimmering ribbons, dressed in a floor-length, white-sequined cape - Teddy Pendergrass!
After years of singing with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Teddy Pendergrass is now the star of the show, Tuesday night, backed by a 13-piece group that was dressed in tails and that provided a solid and powerful accompaniment, Pendergrass' voice echoed across the cavernous expanse of Constitution Hall. The show included many of his own hits as well as medley of songs that he sang with the Blue Notes. He is capable of soft ballads or raucous rockers.
He is also an engaging performer. Whether dancing about, or joining the percussionist for a brief timbale solo, or seated on a stool and softly dedicating a song "for the ladies," Pendergrass revels in the spotlight that is now his alone.