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Artist - Trial Version

Lady Gaga’s Back in Las Vegas

Before visiting Las Vegas for the first time—to see Lady Gaga’s “Jazz & Piano” residency, which has returned, post COVID-19 shut-down, to Dolby Live at the Park MGM—I thought of the city as a place powered by big corp hucksterism, cash burn and drunkenness, fish-hooking those prone to chasing long shot fantasies.

In pop culture, Vegas’s scamminess has been lionized (the Ocean’s franchise), satirized (Ken Jeong’s Leslie Chow in The Hangover), and sexualized (Showgirls). And yeah, Vegas has packed heavyweight punches when it comes to entertainment (Céline, Britney, et al.), yet much of the city’s programming has felt manufactured for surface thrill in the same way a slot machine’s neon burns through the dimness of the casino floor, advertising its next payout ($12,650!). As such and for so long, Las Vegas was a no-go. But I was wrong to be so dismissive.

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