OH. MY. GOODNESS. Yes, it’s true! Diana Ross’ 1983 Central Park show will make its way to theaters on March 26th and March 28th.
The Diana Ross: Her Life, Love and Legacy film will premiere on Diana’s 75th birthday and will feature the remastered Live in Central Park concert along with unseen footage. The second screening will follow on March 28th – 7 p.m. local time for both screenings. A list of approximately 700 participating theaters in the U.S. can be found at the Fathom Events website and international theater information will be announced at a future date.
If anyone needs a refresher about the show and what happened (although who on earth can ever forget her standing there under the heavy rain singing her heart out in that beaded orange bodysuit with the matching chiffon ‘cape’ blowing dramatically in the blustering winds behind her????):
July 21, 1983. Broadcasting worldwide on Showtime, Diana Ross began her show in front of 450,000 fans at The Great Lawn of Central Park to raise money for a children’s playground. Unfortunately, less than 25 minutes into the concert a heavy downpour of rain showed up and showed out! Dark clouds, lightening and strong winds soon followed.
Diana tried to defy the storm at first, “It took me a lifetime to get here, and I’m not going anywhere!”
Sadly, shortly after, it was very apparent that the show could not go on as the storm became much worse and everyone’s well-being became a huge concern. Diana started telling the massive crowd to leave the park for safety. The ground was muddy and people were struggling to move around. At one point, she firmly fussed at some folks and the police as chaos and jostling ensued, stressing that everyone please stay calm and peaceful. “Stop it! Don’t push!!”
She returned the next day for a do-over and so did a crowd of about 350,000 fans. There were still some difficulties (muddy ground, etc.), but everyone pushed through. And the sun was out! Diana put on an unforgettable show both days. She took a hold of that stage and owned it! The footage was a trip to see back then, and the remastered footage will surely be amazing!
* Proceeds from the concert were supposed to go towards building the new playground but since most of the memorabilia and merchandise was destroyed during the storm, the concert did not prove to be profitable. Diana Ross ended up using her own resources to fund the project. The Diana Ross Playground is located inside of Central Park at West 81st Street and Central Park West, NY.