Review Roundup: The Critics Weigh in on Lady Gaga's Las Vegas Residency, ENIGMA
Six-time GRAMMY Award-winner, Golden Globe Award-winner and Academy Award-nominated superstar entertainer Lady Gaga launched her exclusive residency at Park Theater at the new Park MGM resort on Friday, Dec. 28.
The residency features two unique shows in the intimate venue. LADY GAGA ENIGMA is a brand-new odyssey of her pop hits built as an experience unlike any other while LADY GAGA JAZZ & PIANO will feature stripped-down versions of her hits as well as music from the Great American Songbook.
Following the show's opening performance last night, let's see what the critics are saying...
Andreas Hale, Billboard: As she closed the first of her 26 dates to a rousing ovation, it was obvious that Gaga was more than comfortable on the Vegas stage where many all-time greats cut their teeth. Simply put, she was born to do this.
Mark Gray, People: Enigma was very theatrical and very "Gaga": she sang several songs while hovering over the crowd; she changed costumes multiple times; she also played into the Enigma theme, constantly speaking to the alien-like character on the screen.
Brittany Spanos, Rolling Stone: During chapter transitions and outfit changes, Gaga appeared as an anime-video game digital incarnation of herself on screen, chasing after a literal star to a score from her live band. Those moments as well as her own hyper-theatrical exchanges with Enigma and the audience still need a bit smoothing out, but the vampy, campy nature made the show feel at times like an interactive ride at Universal Studios that makes you almost wish that the seats moved like a roller coaster as cartoon Gaga traverses space.
Lyndsey Parker, Yahoo: ...it was Gaga's subtler moments - which may have served as an unofficial "Jazz & Piano" preview - that really resonated (and just might inspire fans to book a second trip to Vegas to catch that residency as well). As Gaga sat at a sculptural piano to perform "Million Reasons" and "Yoü and I," she explained, "My enigma is my inner voice. That's why she came to me, because I stopped listening. I started to believe the lies my head was telling me, the lies people were telling me." Gaga then advised the audience, "You go home and you listen to that inner voice inside of you, and you believe I yourself! I swear I've been to the grave and back, and that is what heals you. You heal you."
Marc Snetiker, EW: Enigma is, on the whole, rather nutty, and not just in the wild CGI creation with whom Gaga earnestly interacts (not to mention a second avatar of Gaga's - an anime superhero - whose elaborate interval travels across Planet Enigma give the singer enough time to change outfits offstage). But Enigma the show is a damn good time, and it's admirable in its attempts to elevate a greatest-hits gathering into something striving for more, something that perhaps even galvanized an artist in the peak of her career to take a Vegas residency in the first place.
Chris Willman, Variety: It's not always clear whether the narrative aspects of the show are meant to be taken seriously or as camp. So better to just ignore them (don't worry, those chats with the computer animation never last for long) and give in to the pageantry. The happy revelation is that dance is the key element of the production; for all the money that's been spent on sets and production design and things that fly and shoot sparks, "Enigma" isn't as reliant on those things as some other Vegas shows whose stars need the overpowering distractions. Any few moments of her being in lockstep with her nine male dancers in the show's sharp, solid choreography are worth a thousand words of script and even a verse or two.