If you still think of Cyndi Lauper as the rainbow-haired, helium-voiced pop music confection who defined ’80s girl power with such tunes as “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “She Bop” — well, you’re still partially right. Her hair remains a canvas for her mood, and the voice is unmistakably Lauper.
But in the decades since she burst into the pop culture lexicon with 1983’s platinum-selling “She’s So Unusual,” Lauper has evolved into an actress, author, Broadway composer and tireless philanthropist — all the while continuing to make music and a quirky home life with her actor husband David Thornton and their precocious teen son, Declyn. Now Lauper welcomes fans into her crazy busy life in the new docu-series “Cyndi Lauper: Still So Unusual,” which premieres Saturday, Jan. 12, on WE:?Women’s Entertainment.
“Everyone thinks they know how I live, but they don’t really know!” Lauper tells Zap2it of the show, which follows her around the country as she, among other things, fundraises for her True Colors Fund, performs on “The Voice” and opens “Kinky Boots,” Harvey Fierstein’s stage musical for which she serves as composer and lyricist. “A lot of it’s very funny. Some of it isn’t. But it’s never boring.”
While Thornton and Declyn serve as a comical grounding point for Lauper’s celebrity-laced adventures, Lauper says her son chose his own level of participation. “The deal was, ‘When you don’t want to do it anymore, you say so,’ ” she says. “I didn’t want to serve my kid up on a silver platter — because he’s my baby. He was my baby. Before you know it, he knows how to take apart computers.”
As for “Kinky Boots,” which premiered in Chicago last October and opens on Broadway in March, Lauper says the combination of working with Fierstein and the play’s timely storyline was irresistable. “It’s a little story with a big heart, about a guy who thinks outside the box and saves people’s jobs. And also it’s about people who couldn’t be more different from each other who, as they work together, realize that they couldn’t be more alike. … Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”