Katy Perry may have sealed her destiny for a Las Vegas Strip residency when she released her hit “Waking Up in Vegas” in 2009, an irresistible addition to the city’s repertoire.
The superstar’s well-planned destiny came true on December 29 with the debut of Play at the newly minted AEG Presents/Concerts West Resorts World Theatre in Las Vegas, where she made another indelible impression in front of a sold-out, all-ages crowd of 5,000 loudly purring KatyCats.
Katy Perry’s Surreal Performance
This almost two-hour crazy voyage into “Perry Playland” takes the audience into another universe of rainbow fluff, heart-shaped confetti, and larger-than-life anthropomorphic household objects — it’s part fantasy, half hallucination, and all Perry.
Perry’s Play was created by Baz Halpin and Silent House Productions, the same company that created Perry’s Prismatic Tour and her unforgettable Super Bowl 2015 performance.
It features snaking electrical cords, talking bed pillows, grooving gym socks, robots doing the robot, crayon-toting marching soldiers, dancing mushrooms, and a talking Mr. Poo who emerges from a mammoth toilet. Perry lactates beer from a tin-can bra during a socially aware conversation with her trash heap companion, Mr. Masky, in a rather touching moment.
An animated opener shows a sea of Katy Dolls in a carnival vending machine on the theater’s massive screen. Blink, who has worked with Bad Bunny, Camila Cabello, and delivered spectacular graphics for MTV VMAs, created the video material.
Many of Katy Perry’s career touchstones, such as Kitty Purry and Left Shark, feature in this playful scene-setting moment. A little kid called Henry obtains a Katy Doll, and we are led down the metaphorical rabbit hole into Perryland.
The sensory explosion begins with video commentary from flamboyant ringleader Ricky T telling the crowd to keep their masks on with the war cry that it was time to play, divided into five acts plus an encore.
During the last act, “Perry Playland,” the pop sensation recalls that both her grandmother and aunt worked as seamstresses and showgirls at the Stardust—the casino that formerly stood on the site where Resorts World currently stands.
Perhaps that is where Katy Perry’s sense of brilliance, gratitude to Las Vegas, and her wild imagination comes from. She is witty, brave, and bold.