GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN: Lily Allen, Theater Of Arts, Last Night [FLICKR]

amyzquinn.thumbnail.jpgBY AMY Z. QUINN I was beginning to worry about this whole Lily Allen thing. Yeah, the songs are catchy and definitely danceable. And in videos, she sparkles, a cutie-pie in a prom dress and matching sneakers. But the few times I saw her singing live on TV, she just kind of stood there, all dressed up and doing not much more than a Dusty Springfield midriff-twist thing. And maybe it was the threat of cabin fever from the looming snowstorm, but the crowd at the sold-out TLA last night — a packed house of curiosity-seekers and not a few young girls on school-night dates with Dad — was already in full dance mode during the DJ set that preceded her coming onstage. With everyone pumped up on old Stevie Wonder tunes, Allen bounded out for a joyous opener of “LDN,” and my mind was eased — sort of. She mentioned something about having eaten a cheesesteak earlier in the day that was wreaking havoc on her stomach, which could have explained her being dressed like a hausfrau with a whiplash ponytail and little-to-no makeup. She warned the audience she just might burp during the performance — nobody seemed to mind. Where Allen is at her best is on sass-mouth numbers like “Knock ’em Out,” a girlie brushoff song with a go-go beat that set hair and hips a-swinging. Lily Allen doesn’t have a big, brassy voice, but it is clear and strong and with a tight band behind her, she delivers on the cosiderable hype. She knows her limitations and rarely ventures beyond them, which works fine for now. A-

[Photos by Jonathan Valania]

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