Bonafide A-lister Tom Cruise was at the Lady Gaga “Jazz + Piano” show on Sunday night. He could have been sitting right behind me, for all I know, through I hand’t noticed. Maverick moves stealthily.
Cruise hung with Gaga backstage during the evening. We know this because Gaga has posted pictures on social media of the two together. “Thank you for coming to the show last night. I love you my friend.”
Cruise, who is 59 going on 19, is beaming like Joel Goodsen from “Risky Business.” His hair is tousled, like he just crawled out of a bunk, but he still looks like a million bucks. The guy makes you crazy.
Maverick’s landing in Las Vegas was timed perfectly. “Top Gun: Maverick” is due for a May 27 release. Gaga’s song for the film, “Hold My Hand,” is due for release Tuesday. As a happy coincidence, Cruise’s arrival at Park MGM should generate serious pre-release buzz about the film. What luck! No wonder Gaga hits the blackjack tables after every show.
Michael Bublé was spotted at Dolby Live, too. Sax great Rob Mader, one of the Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns musicians in Gaga’s orchestra, noted on Facebook, “I just had a nice conversation backstage with Michael Bublé and Tom Cruise was standing just down the hall. Crazy.”
And Kylie Minogue walked past my seat, alongside powerhouse entertainment manager Larry Rudolph. Scouting the room? Always a possibility. But for now, we understand Minogue was just interested in a cool hang at “Jazz + Piano.” Any future residency movement would be purely coincidental.
Her voice seemingly stronger than her pre-pandemic shows, Gaga finished off her latest run of “Jazz + Piano,” selling out the room once again before hitting the road with her long-delayed “Chromatica Ball” tour.
This tour was scheduled so long ago, that “Chromatica” was then a new album. It’s two years old now. Gaga has actually issued a follow-up, “Love For Sale,” her collaboration with Tony Bennett, since “Chromatica” was released.
But Gaga is following through with what should be a killer tour, running from July 17 in Düsseldorf, Germany through Sept. 10 in L.A. With Gaga prepping for the tour, Newman is back at NoMad Library from June 30-July 17.
There are Vegas dates for “Chromatica Ball,” but no matter. Gaga gave a strong indication she’d be back, telling the roaring crowd, “We’re not going to be back here for a little while, so we’re all a little sad tonight.”
The “Jazz + Piano” production has settled in as Gaga’s only Vegas residency show. For months, I’ve wondered when the pop “Enigma” show will return. Now I’m thinking if it’s really necessary. After Gaga’s rich, jazz revival, I’m feel no need to dust off the mirrored bodysuit and matching keytar, or re-animate the giant Transformer robot.
The superstar also said of the orchestra musicians, “These are my friends,” as she stood between conductor Michael Bearden and Brian Newman.
Gaga again embraced Las Vegas’ music heritage, in fact, as she hugged baritone sax player Eric Tewalt. He and fellow band mates mates Mader, Danny Falcone on trumpet, Nathan Tanouye and Kurt Miller on trombone and Jason Levi on trumpet brought this show home. Find them around town, primarily at 7:30 p.m. Mondays at Santa Fe’s shows at Copa Room at Bootlegger Bistro.
We’ve been trumpeting Santa Fe (as it were) for many years. Maybe one night we’ll see Gaga herself drop in. The band can probably learn Newman’s manic arrangement of “Paparazzi” just for the evening.
As it was, Gaga found a post-concert hang to her liking Sunday. Read on …
During the show at Dolby Live, Gaga sidled up to two women seated at a super-VIP cocktail tables onstage. She asked of their relationship status.
“We started a library together,” one said.
“You guys are married!” Gaga said. “You didn’t open a library!”
They didn’t open NoMad Library. That much we know. That’s Newman’s domain these days. Gaga did show up as Newman closed his latest run in his “After Dark” show. Wild, just wild, though Gaga didn’t sing. It was her first appearance at the club since the pandemic shut down.
The flamethrowers on this night were Newman’s wife and burlesque star Angie Pontani (who works the NoMad Runway, the wooden section separating the restaurants booths, to great effect); and Skye Dee Miles. A featured performer at The Shag Room at who performed, “Girl Crush,” which has turned into a signature song in Newman’s shows.
Gaga moved from her seat to the back of the room to dance, and shout to those seated around, “Get up!” It was on, folks. Another instance where the Gaga empire has tapped into the Vegas entertainment community to find the best of the best. Singer/musician/dancer David Terry from “Magic Mike Live” followed (it was about 2:30 a.m.), singing, “Pony.”
Just as you realize the song is featured in “Magic Mike” at the Sahara, cast members showed up to groove and strip to their midriffs. You want that T-shirt to go? It’s gone!
The night tumbled past 3 a.m., but no yawning allowed. It was a verifiable flight into the Vegas Danger Zone, with Newman at the controls. Too bad Maverick had already taken off.
Cool Hang Alert
The next installment of “Viral Live” starring Sarah Hester Ross, returns to Notoriety Live at 8:30 p.m. (doors at 8 p.m.) Wednesday. Ross’ guests include Jordan Keys, Snubby J, Christal Luster, Lolita Haze, Mr. Big Stuart. The music/comedy showcase is gaining great word of mouth, and also some effective word-of-column. SHR has “SNL”-caliber talent, and is also acronym-friendly. See her show. It’s fab.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.