At a Glance
What is it?
A headlining stint from Jenny from the Block (aka Jennifer Lopez).
Where is it?
In the Zappos theater at Planet Hollywood on the Center Strip.
Is it worth the cost?
These are not cheap seats but she puts on a hell of a show, so I say yes.
Why should I see this show?
Because who doesn’t like JLo?
What else do I need to know?
The show is ending its run in September of 2018.
What’s the bottom line?
A woman that is often called one of the hardest working people in show business proves it.
It’s hard not to like Jennifer Lopez. Whether it is because of her music, her acting, her dancing, her clothing line, her stints as an American Idol and World of Dance judge, or just her spunky, somehow endlessly positive personality, Lopez is one of those people that you kind of wish you were friends with but she just seems cool.
Add to the list of reasons to like her, this feel-good, Vegas of yore throwback show at Planet Hollywood. I know I’m late to this party – she has been doing headlining shows here for almost two years and is wrapping up with dates on and off through September 2018 – but for whatever reason she and I were never in Vegas at the same time until now. The good news is that you still have a few chances to catch the production before she moves on (possibly to another showroom?).
Lopez goes for full Sin City glamour with big costumes, big sets, and lots of “never let them see you sweat” entertainment. She is brought out in a flurry of feathers and rhinestones down a grand staircase aided by (sparkly) tuxedo clad dancers, evoking some of the big showgirl productions from days gone past. Her opening includes If You Had My Love with a little bit of a mashup with Sheila E’s Glamorous Life; Love Don’t Cost a Thing; Get Right; and A Lot of Livin’ To Do from the musical Bye Bye Birdie. Why the latter? Because she’s going to be starring in the live TV version of the musical on NBC in 2019 (as if she doesn’t have enough to do already).
A set and costume change to a more “street” vibe brings I’m Real, Feeling So Good, and Jenny from the Block of course. From there she segues sets and costumes again into a Burlesque vibe, then again for some ballads, again for a few funky R&B style songs… (take a breath, there’s more) again for some Latin tunes, and one final time for an energetic club/dance music set. So seven official costume changes and a bunch of others in between since she usually starts each section wearing a lot and ends wearing very little.
All of her hits, both big and small, are here including Girls, All I Have, Let’s Get Loud, Waiting for Tonight, Dance Again, and On the Floor among others. She does a few covers including a lovely version of Lee Ann Womack’s I Hope You Dance and a respectable cover of Aretha Franklin’s Respect. It’s tough to tell how much actual live singing she is doing – I’m going to guess less than Celine and a lot more than Britney – but, like the shows of many modern pop singers, that is kind of beside the point. You come here for the spectacle – the “wow” factor – and there is a lot of it, mostly because of JLo herself who still has the dance moves of a woman half her age. Seriously, she’s only a couple of years younger than me and I make noise when I get up off the couch.
The show isn’t perfect. The costume and set changes mean there is a lot of filler as dancers, the band, or sometimes just random light shows take up the time in between sections. I also found the sound mix to be a bit muddy but I’ve experienced that here in the Zappos theater before so I’m not going to blame her for it.
A lot of people say she is one of the hardest working women in show business and this production proves it. She’s working hard to entertain you here and like most things she does, she’s pretty darned successful at it.