Talk about holiday cheer! Dolly Parton was as bubbly as champagne and as sweet as a candy cane Sunday night at Everett Events Center. In a white form-fitting, spangly bodysuit...

Share story

Talk about holiday cheer!

Dolly Parton was as bubbly as champagne and as sweet as a candy cane Sunday night at Everett Events Center. In a white form-fitting, spangly bodysuit dripping with rhinestones, she looked like a life-size ornament, a buxom angel just right for the top of the Christmas tree.

Most Read Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

It wasn’t a Christmas-themed show, however, but the last date in a long tour that began in October. Titled “Hello, I’m Dolly,” the show was a life and career retrospective, in which she talked as much, or more, than she sang. She told the familiar tale of growing up poor in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and achieving success as a country, pop and bluegrass singer, movie star and Mae West-type character cracking jokes about her ample cleavage.

“If I pulled a Janet Jackson on you tonight, I’d take out the first three rows,” she quipped in her girlish Southern accent. She described her gaudy taste in clothes, makeup and jewelry as “half trailer park and half Park Avenue.”

She spoke proudly about her devotion to songwriting, for which she doesn’t get enough recognition. And she amply demonstrated that talent by singing — in a voice so beautiful that it sounded pre-recorded, but wasn’t — such classics as “Coat of Many Colors,” “Jolene” and, of course, “I Will Always Love You.”

But the set list varied, including material from her recent bluegrass albums, including a fine reworking of Collective Soul’s rock hit, “Shine,” and “The Grass is Blue,” during which she played a white grand piano. She also sang the title tune of her next CD, a bluegrass train song called “Blue Smoke.” Old country tunes included the rousing “Rocky Top” and an a cappella “Little Sparrow” that brought the house to a hush.

Review


With the Grascals, Sunday night at Everett Events Center


She sang some surprising covers, including John Lennon’s “Imagine,” Kris Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby McGee,” Melanie’s “Brand New Key,” John Denver’s “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” (changed to “Girl”) and Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas.” Elvis showed up again, played by one of the guys from her 10-member band, in her novelty song, “I Dreamed About Elvis.”

The Grascals, a six-piece bluegrass band — all of which were also in her backing band — opened with a short set of songs from its upcoming album. The Grascals will be back in Tacoma in February to play the annual Wintergrass bluegrass festival.

Patrick MacDonald: 206-464-2312 or pmacdonald@seattletimes.com