Q&A: Paula Abdul
You’re gonna get the total package and hear the complete story when you see Paula Abdul’s Forever Your Girl residency show at the Flamingo, returning to the center Strip stage Nov. 26-30. To say the effervescent pop star and dance dynamo gives her all is an understatement; she’s reeling off all her hits and showcasing all her best moves through countless costume changes and emotional moods, and explaining all the ups and downs of a fantastic career along the way.
The opening of your show is a sort of rehearsal scene and it’s fun and familiar, and then when you’re onstage and the lights come up and it’s time to start, it’s so dramatic.
I wanted to create a show that is authentic to who I am and show possibility and stick-to-it-ness and determination and adversity, and I want people to feel like they left with inspiration and hope.
This show in this theater is bringing fans closer to your music and story than ever before.
People are saying it’s such a big show for such an intimate room, and that’s OK, because that’s what I do no matter where I am. Even when I got the bug to start performing again three years ago, touring with New Kids on the Block and Boyz II Men, my 35- to 40-minute segment was a very theatrical segment. I always knew if I got the chance to do something like this, it would have to be here in Las Vegas or on Broadway because the type of show I want is intimate and personal.
What was the biggest challenge in putting it together?
Creating a balance of heartfelt aspects, laughter and joy, and just that awe. It’s hard to accomplish all of that, and we were constantly trying different setlists and different orders for what might work and provide an easy progression and flow.
There’s a lot of storytelling, including taking us back to the time of the serious injury that almost ended your career.
It was a very, very trying time. Because I’ve worked so hard to accomplish what I have and no one handed me anything, when that happened, I didn’t want anyone to know. So a lot of that (secrecy) was people signing NDAs (nondisclosure agreements) and not talking about it, and I never raised a suit with the jet company. I didn’t want anyone to know and I thought I was going to be OK, but I wasn’t. It was tough enough to go through countless surgeries hoping the next one would be the one that cures me, but during that time, everyone dropped me. I couldn’t record anymore. It was a very scary time and it was very easy to just give in, but I always believed there was something better and that I would get through somehow.
It’s no wonder why it’s so important to tell that story.
I just want people to leave with hope and inspiration and know that you’re not alone, even when you think you are, and to find the courage that it takes to reach out and connect with people. I’m beyond grateful to have this opportunity and I can’t believe I’m still able to do what I love to do and that I’ve been given another chance. It’s the coolest thing.