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The Original Wonder Woman Sings: A Q&A With Lynda Carter



Gal Gadot isn’t the only actress to ride the Wonder Woman rocket to stardom.

In 1975, Lynda Carter, the Miss World USA from three years prior, had nearly exhausted her savings to pursue an acting career that had produced only three bit parts. She was close to returning to her native Arizona when her manager informed her that she’d been cast to play the iconic Diana Prince, the star-spangled Amazonian princess and all-American superhero, for ABC.

As Wonder Woman, Carter fought Nazis and criminal syndicates and extra-terrestrials for three seasons and four years, ensuring a cult audience. Carter’s popularity has grown in the past year, with a new generation of fans discovering the character through this year’s $816 million movie adaptation.

The role paved the way for a robust television and stage career, but it’s her twin calling as a cabaret singer that has been occupying her creativity of late. On her two albums, At Last and Crazy Little Things, Carter croons standards, blues, folk and rock hits, with a third album on the way this fall.

Carter, who will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next year, will offer fans a preview of her latest material this Saturday when she brings her concert tour, “The Other Side of Trouble, to Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, complete with a 10-piece complement of Nashville studio musicians.

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Tell me about your new show “The Other Side of Trouble,” starting with what the name means to you.

It’s the name of a song I wrote. My writing partner and I were sitting around one day, and we were talking about relationships. I said, “that girl’s trouble, but at least he’s on the other side.” We said, “hey, the other side of trouble!” So it’s an amusing song—“I’m on the other side of trouble when I’m on the other side of you.” And we thought it would be a good name for the show.

We mix some of our own music with some old rock ‘n’ roll, new rock ‘n’ roll and some country and some old blues. We have 10 pieces up on the stage, so it’s a lot of fun.

Is it a straight-up concert, or do you talk to the audience?

I can’t help but talk to the audience. I tell a few stories that are somewhat self-deprecating. I talk a little bit about Wonder Woman, about life, about the music.

What do you get out of singing in front of an audience that you don’t necessarily get from your acting work?

You’re right there with people. For me, it is the same as stage acting. You’re very connected with a piece of work all the way through a show, and you’re depending on the audience’s reaction, and you’re right there with the audience. It’s the same feeling and the same thrill you get when you’re performing in the theatre.

Do you conceive of your concerts like theatre pieces—like you’re moving the audience through a narrative?

Absolutely. The singers I like a lot are storytellers, and you’re taking the audience through an experience. And when I do a cover, my covers are usually telling some kind of a story, and they’re really rethought to quite an extent. If I’m doing a Motown, I’m not a Motown singer, so I retool it in a way that it ends up being a story.

How do you go about selecting which classics you want to record?

That happens over a period of a year or more. It’s usually things I’ve listened to that I want to attempt to do at the beginning of the year. It’s quite a process, going through hundreds of kinds of music, and some of it is stuff that I’ve written, or would write with Grammy-winning writers.

Moving on to your acting career, there’s a lot of pressure associated with playing an iconic character, in terms of balancing the history and expectations with your interpretation. How did you conceive that balance when becoming Wonder Woman?

There was a preconceived notion that women are not going to like you because you’re playing this beautiful goddess. And I thought that was silly, so I wanted to make sure that the women who watched me didn’t feel that way. I thought that she needed to have a goodness and a kindness and that she was a whole woman, as we all are. We’re not just one thing. We’re complicated. And that’s how I crafted the character—that she was sweet and kind, that she would not stand up to any bullies, that she’s more about intellect and integrity and character than she was about anything else.


Has the recent rediscovery of Wonder Woman by a new generation brought renewed interest in the original series?

Of course it has. I have become good friends with Gal and Patty Jenkins, whom I have tremendous respect for. They have their hands full making the next one, and I think it’s really great for the character. I think they did an amazing job.

Do you believe Gal took anything from your interpretation of the character for her own conception of the role?

We never talked about that. That would not be something actresses would necessarily talk about, because everyone has to do it their way. I think that Patty Jenkins and I had the same original feeling of who this woman is, of what a woman is, and empowering her with Wonder Woman’s powers.

What does Wonder Woman have that the testosterone-driven 98 percent of other superheroes lack?

I think it’s just this full and rich personality that she is a whole woman, that she’s not a one-dimensional character. She fights when she needs to and protects when she needs to, and she does it for the right reasons. It’s her humanity that is so outstanding. That’s really what it’s about—the strength of a woman that can’t be victimized. She’s not out there trying to be macho at all. She’s a total feminine woman, but you better not try to take advantage of her, or you’re going to regret it.

Carter performs at 8 p.m. Saturday at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, 5555 N.W. 40th St., Coconut Creek. Tickets cost $40-$60. Call 954/935-2636 or visit

As the A&E editor of, I offer reviews, previews, interviews, news reports and musings on all things arty and entertainment-y in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

Your Week Ahead: Aug. 8 to 14

A Cuban-American plumbs the distant past in Boca Raton, ’80s and ’90s rock icons channel “Rapture and Rage” in Hollywood,  and “Y&R” stars bring the small screen to the big stage. Plus, The Psychedelic Furs, Norm MacDonald, a horror movie fest and more in your week ahead.



What: Opening day of “Deep Line Drawings by Carlos Luna”

Where: Boca Raton Museum of Art, 501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: $10-$12, free for students

Contact: 561/392-2500,

Artist Carlos Luna is the embodiment of South Florida’s melting pot. A Cuban exile, he emigrated to Mexico in 1991 and then to Miami nearly a decade later, absorbing the customs, rituals and rich artistic heritage of each country. Cuban jargon, Mexican Day of the Dead-style imagery and even European cubism inform his dynamic oeuvre, which stretches from paintings and drawings to sculpture, tapestry and installations. Rootless, restless and forever innovating, Luna continues to integrate new styles and formats by, in the case of “Deep Line Drawings,” gazing into the distant past: The exhibition will feature new works on amate, a type of paper formed from natural tree bark whose practice dates to Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. It runs through Feb. 11, 2018.


What: Blondie and Garbage

Where: Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $50-$90

Contact: 954/797-5531,

Pioneering female-fronted rock from two generations headlines this nostalgic jaunt, aka the “Rapture and Rage” tour. Former punk sensations Blondie, indefatigably touring with original members Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and Clem Burke, continues to innovate on its star-studded latest album “Pollinator,” a dancey, sparkly collection of tunes that picks up where the group’s ‘80s pinnacle left off. Just as impressive, ‘90s hitmakers Garbage (“Stupid Girl,” “I Think I’m Paranoid”), led by the infectious and self-flagellating vocalist Shirley Manson, is likewise on the heels of its strongest album in years: the expansive, brooding and serpentine “Strange Little Birds.” Hear a tailored mix of the old and the new at this co-headlining tour, along with opening act Deep Valley. Look for a review of this concert Wednesday here on



What: The Psychedelic Furs

Where: Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $32

Contact: 954/564-1074,

The night after Blondie, keep the ‘80s party raging with The Psychedelic Furs, the British New Wave standard-bearers founded by brothers Richard and Tim Butler. This group’s quartet of albums from their 1981 to 1987 peak period became permanent fixtures of pop music enthusiasts, underground goths and club kids alike, on the strength of Richard Butler’s singular vocal style, the band’s limitless capacity for shiny earworms—“Pretty in Pink,” “Heaven” and “Love My Way” are among its biggest—and its ability to channel the angst of its era and beyond. “President Gas,” for instance, written during the Thatcher and Reagan revolutions, contains lyrics that just as easily apply today. The Furs haven’t released an album in 26 years, but their ‘80s output continues to offer a trove of stellar material for the group’s fans, and their current set list stretches all the way back to their lesser-known, self-titled debut from 1980.



What: Opening of Fusion Art & Fashion Gallery

Where: 501 Fern St., West Palm Beach

When: 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

Contact: 561/305-6004

West Palm Beach’s latest gallery, Fusion Art & Fashion, is a brainchild of the producers of the annual Fashion Week Palm Beach, an area staple since 2010. The gallery will keep things local for its inaugural exhibition, “Sublime Chaos: A Journey From Realism to Abstraction,” a showcase of 25 paintings from West Palm Beach-based artist Deborah Bigeleisen. Her swirling, tempestuous art pops off the canvas with bold colors inspired by fellow-abstract expressionist Paul Jenkins. Check it out through Oct. 10, and if you buy a painting, proceeds of the sale will benefit Soroptimist International of the Palm Beaches.


What: Opening night of “True West”

Where: The Vanguard, 1501 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale

When: 8 p.m.

Cost $20-$35

Contact: 954/591-0818,

In the kind of tragic scheduling irony that could never be planned, New City Players were likely in the early stages of rehearsing their production of Sam Shepard’s 1980 masterpiece “True West” when the heartbreaking news came across the wire: Shepard had died, at age 73, from complications of ALS. Also an Academy Award-actor specializing in rugged, earthen characters, Shepard was most prominently a playwright, where he penned emotionally excoriating and shocking sagas of fractured families. “True West” is a stellar example of his invigorating craftsmanship, focusing on the split between estranged brothers—a screenwriter and a petty thief—who find themselves cohabitating in their mother’s otherwise empty house. Tensions flare in this astute and surprising play, which seems to be as much about the entertainment business as filial strife. See this poignantly timed tribute to the late, great playwright, through Aug. 27.



What: Opening night of Popcorn Frights Film Festival

Where: O Cinema Wynwood, 90 N.W. 29th St., Miami

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $12 per screening, $120 for all-access festival badges


Most mainstream horror cinema, with its cheap and predictable scares and routine plotting, has nothing on the innovative and gonzo approaches of underground auteurs. That’s the raison d’être behind Popcorn Frights, which screens a flurry of cultish horror films too weird or subversive for commercial theaters. It all begins at 7 p.m. Friday with the Florida premiere of “Tragedy Girls,” a satirical horror-comedy that takes bloody aim at fame-seeking internet exhibitionism. The film stars Brianna Hildebrand, of “Deadpool,” and Craig Robinson, and has been described as “Scream meets Clueless.” Tickets are still available for most of the other films, which screen through Aug. 17. Check out the full schedule at the festival’s website.



What: “The Young and the Restless” Soap Opera Festival

Where: Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, 5550 N.W. 40th St., Coconut Creek

When: 8 p.m.

Cost: $30-$50

Contact: 800/653-8000,

Broadcast television may have entered its glacial death spiral, but “The Young and the Restless” shows no signs of diminishing. If anything, it’s keeping CBS alive. The highest-rated daytime drama on American television, “Y&R” proves that well-written, well-acted, well-directed soaps can still attract eyeballs and advertising dollars even in the Netflix world. Having never seen an episode, I won’t pretend to write about it with authority, but for the show’s fans, the actors appearing at this live Soap Opera Festival need no introduction. Amelia Heinle, Kristoff St. John, Tracey E. Bregman (pictured) and Chrisian Le Blanc will field questions from the audience and share behind-the-scenes insights about the Emmy-winning show’s production in this 75-minute program.


What: Norm MacDonald

Where: The Casino @ Dania Beach, 301 E. Dania Beach Blvd., Dania Beach

When: 7 and 10 p.m.

Cost: $30-$45

Contact: 954/920-1511,

I reckon it’s been years since my favorite comedian, Norm MacDonald, has taken a stage in South Florida, so expect a slate of new (or at least new-ish) material that may or may not also be found on his recent Netflix special “Hitler’s Dog, Gossip & Trickery.” MacDonald is most famous for his polarizing three-year run as the “Weekend Update” anchor in the booming ‘90s of “Saturday Night Live,” in which he shredded pop-culture magnets like O.J. Simpson, Jack Kevorkian and Lyle Lovett with relentless potshots. But Norm’s oddball humor, which included deadpan parodies of Larry King and David Letterman, quickly bypassed mainstream acceptance in favor of cult worship, which only intensified during his brief film career and sitcom wilderness. Always better solo than in groups, MacDonald is most gifted on the standup stage, where his brand of alternative, ironic and occasionally anti-humor yields its richest rewards.

As the A&E editor of, I offer reviews, previews, interviews, news reports and musings on all things arty and entertainment-y in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
summer specials

Food News: Doral Restaurant Openings, Summer Specials, Miami Spice Preview and More

Lynn Kalber Lynn Kalber wasn’t born in Boca Raton, but she attended elementary through high school there, so she might as well have been. She’s a graduate of the University of Florida and has been in journalism most of her life, including 26 years at The Palm Beach Post. She’s written feature and food stories, […]

Lynn Kalber wasn’t born in Boca Raton, but she attended elementary through high school there, so she might as well have been. She’s a graduate of the University of Florida and has been in journalism most of her life, including 26 years at The Palm Beach Post. She’s written feature and food stories, and edited food copy among other jobs, including blogging about wine (The Swirl Girls). Her husband is writer and author Scott Eyman. They live in West Palm Beach with an assortment of cats and dogs.