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November 12, 2018

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Review: J.Lo inks three-year contract; Pitbull, Ne-Yo, Ja Rule join her onstage


Denise Truscello / WireImage /

Opening night of Jennifer Lopez’s “All I Have” on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, at Axis at Planet Hollywood.

Opening Night of J.Lo’s ‘All I Have’

Opening night of Jennifer Lopez’s “All I Have” on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, at Axis at Planet Hollywood. Launch slideshow »

Red Carpets for Jennifer Lopez

Casper Smart, Jennifer Lopez, Eva Chow and Michael Chow arrive on the red carpet for Lopez’s after-party and the Mr. Chow grand opening at Mr. Chow on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, at Caesars Palace. Launch slideshow »

Jennifer Lopez in Las Vegas/Richard Corey

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Opening night of Jennifer Lopez’s “All I Have” on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, at Axis at Planet Hollywood.

Click to enlarge photo

Opening night of Jennifer Lopez’s “All I Have” on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, at Axis at Planet Hollywood.

Click to enlarge photo

Opening night of Jennifer Lopez’s “All I Have” on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, at Axis at Planet Hollywood.

When you unexpectedly have Pitbull, Ne-Yo and Ja Rule as surprise onstage guests for your world premiere on the Las Vegas Strip, how do you top it? Tonight if my sources are correct, Jennifer Lopez will have Puff Daddy on the Axis at Planet Hollywood stage for her residency “All I Have” with her, then party afterward with the Kardashian clan.

Caesars Palace execs revealed exclusively to me at Wednesday night’s after-party in the new, swank Mr. Chow at Caesars Palace that J.Lo’s deal will now be for 120 shows over the next three years. It’s the icing on the cake for the global superstar singer, actress, dancer and 46-year-old mom of twins.

She wasn’t kidding when she screamed, “There’s a new girl in town!” She jumps around having fun like a 20-year-old and shows plenty of skin while shaking her booty to prove it.

“I’m on top of the world — it was incredible,” she told me upon arrival at Mr. Chow after walking the red carpet for photographers. She was on the arm of boyfriend Casper Smart for the glittering after-party hosted by restaurateur Michael Chow.

She came and conquered! Fierce doesn’t even begin to describe the theatrical spectacular she’s created. “We worked so hard to make this extraordinary,” she told me. “I think we pulled that off.”

She did indeed — and way more! “This has been a long time coming. I feel very lucky, but we’ve worked very hard to make sure everybody has a good time. We just wanted to entertain them like they’d never been entertained before. I wanted a show that would keep them talking the next day and beyond. Something they wouldn’t forget!”

No wonder that actor Matt Damon put his filming of “The Bourne Identity” sequel on hold until midnight so that he could watch “All I Have.” Singer Justin Bieber was another unexpected guest after an unknown stop at Mandalay Bay.

It was a Hollywood glitz and glamour night with Pitbull helping close out the show with “On the Floor,” Ne-Yo offering mid-show to sing the title song “All I Have” with J.Lo, and Ja Rule dueting on “I’m Real.”

The fantastic female lineup included Cheryl Burke, Kelly Osbourne (walking with a cane to help with a break in her foot), Leah Remini, Rebel Wilson, Kristen Chenoweth, Rachel Zoe, Kiesza, Nicole Scherzinger and NBC’s “Today” hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager, who are taping two days of their morning show at Caesars Palace.

Another surprise appearance was gorgeous supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who talked with me about her engagement to action-actor pal Jason Statham. Rosie also told me:

“J.Lo is the ultimate triple threat: dancing, singing and acting. She’s her own multimillion-dollar brand. She’s iconic. She surpasses everybody. I grew up with her music.”

Holly Madison, who told me that she’s just finished her second book, “Vegas Diaries,” which took her six months and includes me in it, revealed that her debut book “Down the Rabbit Hole” has been picked up by a studio for a future TV series.

Talking about J.Lo, she told me pre-show: “She’s such a perfectionist, such a workaholic. You know she will only deliver the highest-quality, best show in Las Vegas. I want to know where she has the energy to do what she does. I want to be a fly on the wall for a day in her house. She’s super hot, super likable.”

Derek Hough and Mario Lopez led the men who also included Ryan Seacrest, Wilmer Valderrama, Keenan Ivory Wayans, T.I., Ryan Guzman and Ray Liotta with the cast of J.Lo’s new NBC series “Shades of Blue,” including Sarah Jeffery, Warren Kole, Santino Fontana, Gino Pesi and Dayo Okeniyi.

Former Caesars head honcho Gary Loveman flew in from New England for the extravaganza, and Planet Hollywood chief Robert Earl hosted Gina Rodriguez.

Derek told me preshow:

“She always comes back from the acting and the singing to the art of live theater dancing. She has that fire, that passion, that excitement. Once it gets in your blood, you never give it up. I know the dancers onstage with her, and if she sees me dancing along in my seat and invites me up onstage, I’ll go for it. She’s going to have the entire audience on its feet.”

“All I Have” is truly a blistering, sensational and stunning spectacle right from the moment J.Lo enters down a silver, sparkling staircase reminiscent of a scene from the about-to-close “Jubilee” at Bally’s. Her six female dancers, some floating in the air, wear extraordinary feathered headpieces and wings that will keep the showgirl legend alive on the Strip. Her 10 male dancers even jump onto bright, blue-lacquered hover boards for one opening dance routine.

J.Lo wants you to know that she came loaded for action, and it turns out to be a truly unique production directed by UNLV graduates and husband-and-wife team of Napoleon and Tabitha D’umo, aka NappyTabs.

I marvel at J.Lo’s nonstop energy. Her level of enthusiasm and vigor is so high, you worry that she might go into cardiac arrest. She jumps around as if she’s plugged into an electrical outlet. She is onstage 99 percent of the show singing with ferocious gusto, dancing with uninhibited freedom and setting the marching orders for her younger backup dancers.

J.Lo is 46 years old and the mother of 8-year-old twins Emme and Max (with ex-husband Marc Anthony) — she dedicated a cover of Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance” to her little “coconuts.” She told the adoring audience:

“I want the twins to be happy all the time” as a giant photo of the children flashed up behind her. In addition to “All I Have,” she’s commuting to and from Los Angeles for the final Season 15 of “American Idol” on Fox that premiered during her rehearsals here Jan. 6 and 7.

Meantime, “ Shades of Blue” was the network’s most-watched premiere in seven years with nearly 4 million viewers added each week since its debut. During these premiere weeks, J.Lo owned five hours of primetime programming over two competing networks.

“All I Have” does have all of everything in it: Amazing laser-light shows, pyrotechnics, fire flashes, thunder-pounding five-piece live band with three backup singers — and more. In her back to the Bronx act, she even arrives onstage atop a New York subway car. The continuing baseball dance routine winds up with her shout-out to “the sexiest city in the world” as dancers and she fire sequins from baseball bats over the audience.

I loved how she changed shoes by inserting her sneakers directly into the stage and pulling her feet out of the hole with a new pair of stilettos. The “hole in the stage” trick also was used to great effect with her dancers behind the trumpets for another number.

J.Lo is known for her booty action and performed the art of the tease, first discarding her black bra through the stage curtains, then appearing in a turquoise gown slit up to her waist. Against a background of dancer leg holograms peeking from picture frames, she performed a striptease on an enlarged chaise lounge.

Off came her corset until she was just there in bra, panties and stockings held up with two sequined garters. It turned into a five-girl sexy sandwich on the chaise with J.Lo in the middle. And before the stage darkened, she mischievously turned to the audience, “I know what you’re thinking. You’re naughty.”

Before even taking a breath, she reappeared in the longest white gown ever fabricated atop a raised pedestal that went higher as she sang. From a silver moon to a space hat for “Waiting for Tonight,” it is all fantastic.

Her choreography even goes beyond that, especially nearing the end when backed up with orange-suited dancers she slides on her knees right across the stage reaching the very edge of the J.Lo-emblazoned stage surrounding her standing fans. Oh! That party tonight with J.Lo and the Kardashians hosted by Puff Daddy is set to run past 2 a.m. at Cafe Martorano in Paris Las Vegas.

There’s no doubt that J.Lo and her deal with Caesars Entertainment is changing the theatrical face of the Strip. There were a ton of people Wednesday night who told me, “This is now the best show in Las Vegas. There’s never been anything quite like this. Totally amazing.” I couldn’t have said it better myself!

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

Follow Las Vegas Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at

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