She’s So Excited

Ruth Pointer keeps the legendary sister act going

She’s the last of the original Pointer Sisters, but, at age 71, Ruth Pointer says she still has energy to spare. And a lot of songs left to sing.

In the early 1980s, the sisters  from Oakland, California, had four consecutive top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hits. They were the divas of the dance floor, with tracks that are still mainstays on the radio—“Slow Hand” (1981) “I’m So Excited” (1982), and “Automatic,” “Neutron Dance,” and “Jump” (all in 1983).

Pointer now lives outside of Boston, in the small town of Hopedale—population just under 6,000 in the last census. Her touring schedule has slowed a bit, but the Pointer Sisters are still going strong.

While the group’s lineup has changed, Pointer views it as an evolution. She’s joined now on stage by daughter Issa and granddaughter Sadako Johnson. They perform Jan. 20 at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek.

“What’s better than coming to Florida in the winter?” she says.

Audiences will still hear all the Pointer Sisters’ hits—with energy, she promises. “Sadako brings an element of youth that I had back in the 1970s,” Pointer says. “I let her turn that loose.”

Having the younger generations step in to the act was “something that just happened,” she says. “It really came out of necessity.”

When youngest sister June died of cancer in 2006, at age 52, Anita and Ruth kept the group going, with Issa stepping in. Sadako replaced Anita after health issues caused her to reduce her travel schedule. (A fourth sister, Bonnie, was an original member but left the group in 1978.)

“I could have said many times that I didn’t want to perform anymore, but I wasn’t ready for that,” Pointer says. “People ask me all the time, ‘Ruth, when are you going to quit?’ and I think to myself, ‘I want to do this as long as I am able.’

“When you have your health and you have the passion, there’s no greater feeling than being on stage and being loved by people you don’t even know.”

She was delighted when, in September, Vogue published a story about designer Orla Kiely finding inspiration for her spring 2018 collection after studying images of the Pointer Sisters in their heyday.

“Yep, we still like to get dressed up in our costumes, and free our spirits, and have one heck of a good time,” she says with a laugh.

There’s one wish she has for her Coconut Creek audiences.

“I hope this is the type of venue where people can get up and dance,” Pointer says. “And, if you’re coming, don’t wait to be invited to dance—just do it.”

She’ll be doing the “Neutron Dance” right along with you.


The Pointer Sisters

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

When: Jan. 20, 8 p.m.

Tickets: $40-$80

Info: 954.977.6700 or seminolecoconutcreekcasino.com

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