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Lady Gaga moving toward return to the Strip

Updated July 19, 2021 - 11:59 am

Like scrawling notes onto a music chart, Lady Gaga is writing a soundtrack to her Las Vegas Strip return.

Look for that to happen at Park Theater (soon to be redubbed Dolby Theater, or some variation) in October. “Jazz + Piano” is likely to be the first show out.

Gaga on Monday announced her “One Last Time” appearances with Tony Bennett at Radio City Music Hall on Aug. 3-5 (the shows celebrate Bennett’s 95th birthday on Aug. 3). That presentation is a variation of the “Jazz + Piano” theme from Park Theater. Bennett himself has appeared onstage with Gaga for several shows on the Strip, including two during her Vegas residency (the Radio City shows are to serve as Bennett’s sendoff, as he has been suffering from Alzheimer’s, having been diagnosed in 2016).

Also playing into the schedule, Gaga’s lead trumpet player, band leader and close friend Brian Newman returns in August to NoMad Library. Newman’s “After Dark” shows, set for 11:30 p.m., typically line up to play after with Gaga’s. But she is not expected to lead into his return this summer, instead spending the time rebuilding the terrific “Jazz + Piano” showcase in the fall.

August is already a busy month at Park Theater, with guitar great Joe Bonamassa (Aug. 6), superstar resident headliner Bruno Mars (Aug. 13-14), and the Jonas Brothers (Aug. 20-21) already booked. Comedy writer and stand-up star John Mulaney is in Sept. 4 and comedian Bert Kreischer on Sept. 25. The middle of September remains open, as does all of October — when Gaga is expected to return.

The “Jazz + Piano” has alternated with Gaga’s pop-infused “Enigma” production since Gaga opened at Park Theater in December 2018. The jazz show is a personal passion of the recording and film superstar, as she pushed MGM Resorts officials to include the orchestra-driven show in her Vegas residency.

Pulling from the Great American Songbook, Gaga has performed such standards as “The Lady Is a Tramp,” “Anything Goes,” “Luck Be a Lady” and refashioned, symphonic versions of her own hits, “Poker Face” and “Paparazzi” among them.

The jazz show has also thrown a light on some well-known Las Vegas musicians, as Newman lured the horns from Santa Fe & The Fat City to play the gig.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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