Dukakis introduced the show as a celebration of women as entertainers and as achievers. "You may remember a movie from several years ago called The Philadelphia Story. With tonight's concert, we will generate a new Philadelphia Story. Tonight, with determination, we will bring help and hope to the women and children of the Philadelphia area."
Dukakis' short introduction was followed by a multi-media slide show that celebrated women's accomplishments. Images of Helen Keller, Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King drew loud applause from the capacity audience of 3,000, who paid from $50 to $750 for a seat.
The Roches came next with a 40-minute set of beguilingly quirky urban folk music. The three sisters, Maggie, Terre and Suzzy, created bliss-inducing harmonies that walked the tightrope between girlish charm and unaffected sophistication.
Terre's searing and soaring soprano moved like quicksilver through a version of "I Love My Mom," a song that they dedicated to the Judds. A hilarious version of Frankie Valle and the Four Seasons' "Dawn" - here reinterpreted as "Don" - had the audience laughing and singing along.
The Judds kicked off a 40-minute set of a rollicking version of "Born to Be Blue." Backed by a crack six-piece band, Wynonna looked like a young Elvis in white fringe while Mom Naomi sashayed like a glittery Cinderella at the ball singing harmonies with her daughter.
Dionne Warwick, resplendent in a red silk pants suit, re-created the sounds of her biggest hits of the '60s. Warwick's dusky and amber-hued alto was complemented by a 25-piece orchestra. Beginning her set with her bittersweet signature song, "Walk on By," she segued into a medley of the Bacharach- David standards that made her a star and several Cole Porter classics.
A surprise finale featured all of the evening's performers, including Dukakis, singing Warwick's hit "That's What Friends Are For."