Q&A: Tierney Allen
Tierney Allen is a bit more focused than the average Lady Gaga fan. She’s been performing as a tribute artist doing Gaga for a decade, a gig that really took off when she joined Legends in Concert about four years ago, first in limited engagements and then at the powerhouse production’s show at the Royal Hawaiian Theater in Waikiki. Allen says getting Legends was a dream come true—a dream which exploded when she was asked to come to Las Vegas to perform in the new version at the Tropicana.
You took some time away from the stage recently to raise your family. What’s it like to get back to work after a couple years off and to do it in Las Vegas?
It’s incredible getting to be in this production. I’ve followed Lady Gaga’s career for so long, and then the Super Bowl (halftime performance) happened and then the movie (A Star is Born) and she’s had all this momentum picking up, and my daughter was growing up and I was just hoping Legends would call me. It played out perfectly.
Have you seen Gaga’s shows at Park Theater?
I saw the Jazz & Piano show and I was crying the whole time. It was to die for. She’s not just in Las Vegas, she is Las Vegas. She’s Elvis and Liberace and Sinatra all in one and every note she hit was great. She talked a lot about her love for jazz. She’s not just a pop star. Jazz is deeply rooted in her soul and it’s how she grew up. It’s definitely a show for the masses.
How did you get your start?
I’m from the Bay Area. Although I was born in Los Angeles, I was raised in the San Jose and Santa Cruz area. I grew up singing and dancing and I’m also a classically trained violinist. I play piano and guitar, too, and it’s kind of funny that it all led to this because I wanted to be a pop star or a rock star. About 10 years ago, I was working with Kate Beckinsale and she was the first to tell me I look like Gaga, and I thought, who? I didn’t even know her. I got on the Internet and started to think I could be an impersonator.
What’s it like paying homage to an artist who’s always changing her look and sound?
She’s definitely always changing her look so I’m constantly guessing which look I should make next. The public only knows those iconic ones and I’m so in it, I don’t really realize what the average person knows of Gaga. I have Gaga blinders on. It becomes a full-time job keeping up with her but she’s so much fun.
Which version are we getting in Legends in Concert at the Trop?
We’re really focusing on the kinda country, A Star is Born, cowboy hat, Joanne era. I feel like Gaga did so much press for that album and everyone knows she wore that hat and has had this rootsy, almost-country part of her career, and it’s such an approachable Gaga from any age point. Not everyone can relate to the weird spiked-head hat or the platform boots. But everyone can relate to the music. It’s something different than what I’ve done before with Legends in Concert.
What are the odds of getting her to come over to the Trop to see the show?
Just the fact that I get to be across the street from the big lady, it’s a lot. I’ve got big boots to fill. All I ever want to do is make her proud. If she had a night off and came across to check us out, all I want to do is make her proud and do her right. And maybe people who couldn’t see her at Enigma or Jazz & Piano can come check us out and get a little piece of Gaga at the Tropicana.