Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016 | 3:28 p.m.
Jenny from the block is on fire with unfathomable energy right from the get-go of her nearly two-hour “All I Have” concert residency, according to first-word fans who saw her pre-premiere, final dress rehearsal run-through Monday night at Axis at Planet Hollywood.
Global superstar singer, actress and dancer Jennifer Lopez premieres “All I Have” tonight in front of a celebrity packed audience. J.Lo will perform 20 shows in this first go-round through Feb. 9, then another 20 shows later as part of a contract from May 22 through mid-June reportedly worth more than $25 million. VIP front-row tickets with champagne table seating are $416.
“We’ve been rehearsing every day since the American Music Awards. We’ve been in there every day creating the show. It was being created before I got there. While I was filming ‘Shades of Blue,’ I was working on the music,” she told talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres.
J.Lo told Ellen that she secretly watched all of her rivals’ shows — Britney Spears, Shania Twain, Celine Dion and Mariah Carey — before she agreed to her residency: “I wanted to get a vibe for what it would be like. I didn’t speak to anybody, and now I’m excited to share the whole thing with them.”
There are already rumors percolating that some of her collaborators, including Pitbull, French Montana, Fat Joe and Iggy Azalea, might surprise with guest appearances onstage here.
Among those watching Monday’s preview: J.Lo’s 8-year-old twins Max and Emme (from her ex-husband Marc Anthony); her mother Guadalupe; and best friend actress and comedian Leah Remini, who will be back again tonight. Leah and pal actor Ray Liotta, who stars with J.Lo in the new NBC hit series “Shades of Blue,” also is here for the premiere and had dinner together at Strip House in Planet Hollywood on Tuesday night.
Two friends attended Monday’s “lion’s den” showcase. “Sexxy” at Westgate Las Vegas producer, choreographer and star Jennifer Romas told me, “It’s killer choreography. Her figure is in incredible shape.” Emily Jillette, Rio headliner magician Penn Jillette’s wife, told me: “Her energy is so extremely high, people want to get out of their seats and dance and sing along. She’s limited the songs to just two ballads, so there’s lots of audience interaction — real and raw.
“The dancers look beautiful, both girls and boys who all looked like her exes! There’s lots and lots of booty, and the costumes are those of a fabulous diva. The sets and stage props are super fun, and there was a theme of things appearing out of holes. A hole extravaganza with legs coming out of the wall, trumpets coming out of the floor, and at one point Jennifer dipped her feet into a hole onstage and came back up with a shoe change!”
Despite the 46-year-old’s energetic dancing and powerful-punch opening number with fabulous furs over a glittering, dangerously daring, thigh-high-cut bodysuit, J.Lo is singing and not lip-syncing. She’s loaded for non-stop action.
She performed her biggest hits, including “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” “Get Right,” “Jenny From the Block” and “If You Had My Love” all — some with sports pants, baseball caps and sparkly canes — on a wraparound catwalk stage emblazoned with her J.Lo logo and salutes to her native New York. It’s all a majestic mix of Latin, funk, pop and more that J.Lo describes as “theater meets pop show.”
The fashions include sexy leotards and dramatic ball gowns. She shows off plenty of skin! “I wanted an extravaganza, something really where people go OMG, you have to see this,” she said.
J.Lo began as a dancer on “In Living Color,” so the dance routines are there in force, and don’t think for a minute that Matt Damon has loaned his “Bourne Identity” stunt doubles to her for onstage antics. She performs them all herself.
J.Lo credits transcendental meditation with how she stays young and manages to squeeze in so much work as mother, entertainer and actress in a single day. She also is juggling the final Season 15 of “American Idol” on Fox while headlining on the Strip.
Her boyfriend Casper Smart is here with her in Las Vegas. The couple entertained family and friends with a huge Italian lunch at Carmine’s in the Forum Shops of Caesars Palace over the weekend. More than 30 stars are expected for tonight’s red carpet gala and pre-party at Planet Hollywood and post-party at the new Mr. Chow in Caesars Palace.
In a fascinating article written by journalist Michael Cragg for last weekend’s Guardian newspaper in England, he opined: “Jennifer Lopez is helping change the face of Las Vegas. Where residencies in the past were often loss leaders with casinos counting on people spending money on gambling before and after, the modern-day residency is a huge part of the city’s broader appeal away from the blackjack tables.
“Where once Las Vegas was seen as a well-lit retirement home for aging, the move now is to younger, more pop-focused artists who want to stay put in one city, live in a nice, big mansion and not schlep around the world on tour.”
When I interviewed J.Lo in May, she told me: “I’ll give it all I have. Everything I’ve ever done has led to this. I've spent my entire life waiting for this moment to create my own show. It’s going to be the best J.Lo show you’ve ever seen and heard. It will be with all my hits. We have a lot of different things to try to do on that stage.
“There’s so much there in Las Vegas. Think of it as one super party you’ve wanted to go to your entire life. I’m just going to heighten the experience so that everybody has a good time. There’s a lot of new technology that will fit the personality and concept of the show. I’m going to keep asking what new thing can we bring to the stage.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am about this Las Vegas residency. The only thing that worries me is that I love all the great restaurants and shopping on the Strip. So I’m going to have to be very careful not to eat too much or to shop too much. That’s the only problem I think I’ll have!”
Her regular collaborators, including UNLV graduates husband-and-wife dance team Napoleon and Tabitha D’umo, aka NappyTabs, along with stylists Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn, have helped her create and craft the seven-act show with seven set changes.
Tonight, J.Lo premieres her show: All the songs, dancing, costumes and sets come to life in one seamless endeavor. Even before curtain up, the verdict is, “Amazing, incredible — the Strip is now home to yet one more superstar!”
Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Las Vegas Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
Catering to the young and modern crowd, Planet Hollywood is a one-stop shop for entertainment with its massive shopping mall, slew of restaurants, spacious casino and clubs.
The ambiance of the casino is retro-chic meets high-tech with black granite floors throughout and colorful LED lights throughout the space. The theme carries into the 100,000 square-foot casino with 250 flat screens topping off slot machines. The casino is also home to 87 tables, a sports book and a poker room.
There's also the Miracle Mile Shops, one Vegas' largest malls, with 140 stores including BCBG Max Azaria, bebe, Urban Outfitters and The Discovery Channel Store.
Following an afternoon of shopping, guests can satisfy their appetites at one of the gourmet restaurants in Planet Hollywood, like the non-traditional approach to steakhouses at Strip House or check out the exotic Far East motif at KOI restaurant and lounge. And if guests are still looking for more, they can spend the after hours at Privé, Triq or Krave nightclubs.
Perhaps one of the resorts biggest attractions came in March with the addition of "Peepshow." The naughty twist on the story of Little Bo Peep is modern-day spin on the run-of-the-mill Vegas topless review. The "Peepshow" stage has seen visiting celebs like Scary Spice Mel B, "Dancing with the Stars" Kelly Monaco and Playboy's Holly Madison.