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February 18, 2019

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Photos: CeeLo’s ‘Loberace’ at Planet Hollywood is a nonstop assault of hits, dancing and surprises

CeeLo's Flaming Piano on the Strip

Denise Truscello/WireImage/

CeeLo Green plays a flaming piano down the Las Vegas Strip as he arrives at Planet Hollywood on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013.

CeeLo Celebrates 'Loberace' at Chateau

CeeLo Green celebrates at Chateau Nightclub in Paris Las Vegas after his first performance of Launch slideshow »
Click to enlarge photo

Robin Leach and CeeLo Green backstage after the premiere of "CeeLo Is Loberace" at Planet Hollywood on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013.

CeeLo at Planet Hollywood/Christopher Rauschnot @24kMedia on Twitter

From the moment CeeLo Green takes the stage in his new show “CeeLo Is Loberace,” which debuted at Planet Hollywood on Wednesday night, it is a brilliant, nonstop assault of the senses.

If you thought his Strip arrival on Tuesday playing a flaming piano onboard a fireworks-shooting flatbed truck was unique, wait until you take part in the hot, sexy midnight party he’s created, the likes of which the Strip has never seen.

The music superstar is a man of momentum. He doesn’t stop for a second. Not only do the hits keep coming, but he also dances, shakes, performs magic, sings, talks -- going out into the audience -- and climbs the winding golden staircase.

He stands atop a forklift transformed into a pulpit for an outrageous sexy nuns dance routine that will have the unfaithful scurrying back to church for what they may have missed.

CeeLo’s energy is boundless. It’s a 90-minute production with extraordinary 3D video. The “Lady Killer” is surrounded by 10 of L.A.’s hottest music video dancers for every number. The hits were so many, I lost count.

“There’s something about Las Vegas that makes me sweat,” he joked with the audience. One of the dancers fished out a tiny towel from her bra to wipe him down -- that made it even hotter!

Backstage afterward approaching 1 a.m. today, CeeLo told me: “I am so proud of what we did tonight. I love what we’re doing. I enjoyed every moment. Now we’ve got the show up, we’re going to grow it better each time. I’m living out my dreams onstage in Las Vegas. I belong in Vegas. This is the greatest.”

CeeLo first appears like royalty on a lift from underneath the stage in an outrageous mink cape, and within seconds his infectious spirit had the audience -- including Christina Aguilera, holding onto and hugging boyfriend Matthew Rutler, and 98 Degrees star Jeff Timmons -- on its feet fist pumping and clapping. They were dancing in their seats.

His powerful and unique voice at the sparkling silver center mic stand is riveting. The chandeliers were shaking and flickering. He is so comfortably confident onstage. He does a magic trick and is baffled and thrilled how it worked with a fan’s dollar bill that transforms into souvenir jewelry.

CeeLo delivers the goods as a multitalented performer singing, dancing, telling jokes and firing up the sex quotient. His joke about drinking and sex is hysterical, but I daren’t repeat it here.

CeeLo Green Arrives at Planet Hollywood

CeeLo Green arrives at his new residency home of Planet Hollywood on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. Launch slideshow »

The 10 dancing girls who enter draped over a sky-high, winding golden staircase are a dramatic stage arrival and not seen before in my memory of Las Vegas shows. When they later don sexy sports outfits, no time out is permissible. The strip club number with dollar bills cascading from the ceiling tempts better than gentlemen’s clubs. CeeLo change in and out of four sparkly sequined costumes and a white rubber/leather cloak before he finally belts, “Can You Feel It.”

I’m not going to reveal the many show and star surprises, but just when you think it can’t possibly get any hotter, there’s the arrival of the black leather hot pants of V. Yes, not only a one-name singer, but also a one-initial singer discovered by CeeLo and signed to his label. V is a bald, black bombshell, and fierce doesn’t even begin to describe her.

Nobody wanted the show to end, but CeeLo brought on his dancing girls with his sponsor TyKu sake to pour shots for the banquette VIP audience members. “We’re all about having fun,” he said. “This has got me all hot and bothered, and I hope the show did the same for you. There’s no finale, just a climax. I’m a little crazy, but I’m not stupid!”

Designer Marco Marco gets credit for wild, fun, outrageous and colorful costumes, and the Rock-a-Explosive animal robot band at the end must come to life. As much as CeeLo is the superstar, conductor and ringmaster of this spectacle, Fatima Robinson gets credit as the choreographer and creative director.

She told me: “CeeLo has talked with me for two years about the concept of this show. He’s always wanted to do it in Las Vegas that long. He always loved Liberace. He came up with ‘Call Me Loberace,” and, from that moment, we just ran with it. We are thrilled what we pulled it off.”

CeeLo's Flaming Piano on the Strip

CeeLo Green is surrounded by showgirls from Launch slideshow »

CeeLo is at Planet Hollywood for 28 performances through April 13 but hopes that it will be extended into a residency. Check out my extensive interview with him posted Feb. 20. He performs four shows a week at 11 p.m. or midnight after the 1,400 seats of Coco Austin’s “Peepshow” are turned over in 30 minutes.

Incredibly, even with opening a show, CeeLo is still in motion. While here, he will complete his new solo album and on March 11 will jet to Rio for an awards show. You also can see him tonight on FX’s sitcom “Anger Management” with Charlie Sheen as his counselor.

Even after a day of rehearsals and opening night, CeeLo was still the man on the move. He celebrated the opening with an after-party at Chateau Nightclub, which began just after 2 a.m. Christina and Big Gipp from Goodie Mob were in the entourage with “Loberace” producer Paul Morphos, who produced Cher’s “Farewell Tour” spectacular on NBC, and Mark Brickman, production and lighting designer who worked with Pink Floyd on their tours and “The Wall.”

CeeLo’s last words to me: “I’m living the dream. What I dreamed two years ago is now real, and I’m loving it!”

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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