Lady Gaga puts on a monster show
When Lady Gaga sets her mind on an objective or goal, such as creating two alternating residencies in Las Vegas, there’s no questioning whether she’ll be successful. In what manner she will succeed is what her adoring public and vigilant media await to discover. Like the outfit she dramatically revealed in stages to a rabid red carpet crowd at last month’s 2019 Met Gala in New York City, the supernova born Joanne Angelina Germanotta changes images and styles frequently as it were programmed in her chromosomes.
The only things that were certain about her Lady Gaga: Enigma residency in the time leading up to her December debut were that Gaga would play hits, there would be breathtaking choreography and groundbreaking production, and that neither she nor A Star Is Born director Bradley Cooper would pass up a chance to duet on their No. 1 hit “Shallow” at least once during the residency’s first run. She also scheduled four performances descriptively titled Lady Gaga: Jazz & Piano.
Enigma was the most anticipated show of the season by the time it made its Dec. 28 debut, and was an instant smash. As promised, it was unlike anything she had done before, “a celebration of all that is unique and different within us.” Gaga created a narrative, “a true, authentic love story” involving two protagonists who experience the highs and lows of fame, which she relates through nearly two dozen hits from “Just Dance” to “Born This Way.”
Cooper did join her during a Jan. 26 show to sing “Shallow” together for the first time live, weeks before it won a Grammy and a month before the world saw them sing it during the 2019 Academy Awards broadcast, where it won an Oscar for Best Original Song.
Jazz & Piano, where Gaga planned to perform standards from the Great American Songbook and stripped-down renditions of her own hits, made its debut Jan. 20. It was so warmly received that an additional date was added to her May-June run, with more shows locked in for fall.
Gaga is no stranger to commanding the spotlight while sitting at pianos, often elevated and designed into shapes like shoes, during her shows. This time she kicked things off in Vegas style with “Luck Be a Lady Tonight” and Cole Porter-penned “Anything Goes.” She paid homage to Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole before digging into her own catalog to deliver a solo-piano rendition of “Poker Face.” Then to the thrill of the audience she was joined onstage by Tony Bennett to sing several songs from their 2014 duets album Cheek to Cheek.
Not every “Little Monster,” as Gaga’s fervent followers refer to themselves, managed to get a ticket to the first Jazz & Piano shows, but superfans who secured a seat for Enigma saw the future of Strip entertainment. Gaga, who marked her second run of shows with the opening of her Haus of Gaga store at Park MGM, is now a part of Las Vegas and has only just begun.
Park Theater at Park MGM, 8 p.m. June 9, 12 & 14-15, starting at $77.90 plus tax and fee. 844.600.7275