In her first New York concert since her movie-star turn in “A Star in Born” — which won her a Best Original Song Oscar (for “Shallow”) and a Best Actress nomination — Lady Gaga reclaimed her Gaga-ness from her Ally Maine character.
Making her debut at the Apollo Theater debut in an intimate, invite-only concert that celebrated the satellite-radio merger of SiriusXM and Pandora, Gaga transformed the famed Harlem stage into a futuristic space station. This was Showtime on Venus.
From the minute she hit the stage to do her debut hit “Just Dance” — wielding an intergalactic guitar while wearing a silver sequined jumpsuit and headpiece — it was clear that this was going to be more about pop theatrics than the classic soul that has defined the venue.
In fact, this was Gaga taking “Enigma” — her show that began its Las Vegas residency in December — on the road.
But some of it didn’t travel well: There was way too much talking from Mother Monster in an effort to put across the murky concept about her alien alter ego, Enigma. This kind of tedious, tiresome stage banter would have gotten her booed off the stage from the Apollo’s amateur-night audience.
In one particularly strange segment, she urged the crowd to “tell me to go f—k myself.” Say what?
But the Little Monsters in the house ate it all up. And when Gaga did just shut up and sing, she was an out-of-this-world star. Doing hits from “Poker Face” and “Applause” to “Bad Romance,” she was was a larger-than-life presence who you got to see up close and personal.
And when she did her gay anthem “Born This Way” as this week celebrates World Pride, it was a real New York moment for this hometown girl, who made a point to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots on Friday.
The show ended with Gaga going back to Ally Maine for “Shallow,” singing both her and Bradley Cooper’s parts. Bringing you back down to earth, she reminded you of the depth that goes with the dazzle.
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