Forever Your Girl offers two-hours of back-to-back hits, a reminder to all in attendance just how many she has; as well as “lots of storytelling,” a promise she made when she spoke with Billboard in May. “I love telling stories through music and dance,” she says. “I want to have a real experience with the audience so they leave knowing me a bit more.”
Appropriate to an artist who holds numerous records—she was the first female to ever receive four No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 singles off a debut album, and ranks No. 10 on Billboard’s All Time Top 200 Albums by Women—Paula Abdul’s Las Vegas offering premiered its second set of dates Oct. 22—and grand opening October 24—with a packed house of diehard fans who came to see her dance and perform the infectious pop hits they grew up with.
The show begins with Paula acting as choreographer from the audience, instructing her talented troupe of dancers in a kitsch and schtick routine. From there, Abdul jumps onstage for “Vibeology” from 1991’s Spellbound album and “The Way That You Love Me” from 1988’s Forever Your Girl and then rolls into a montage of greatest career moments. These include choreographing George Michael’s legendary Faith tour, Janet Jackson’s “Nasty” and “Control” videos and the 1987 film Can’t Buy Me Love. All the while, her animated companion from the “Opposites Attract” video, MC Skat Kat takes a furry but human form side stage as a cat-costumed DJ.
Beyond all the banter, most in the audience are there to see Abdul dance and she does just that in a cascade of blindingly bedazzled outfits. Those over-the-top numbers are cut with long stories about her time as a professional cheerleader, how she fished the eight-track for her one of her biggest hits out of a trash can, her trials and tribulations on American Idol and a recount of an alleged undocumented plane crash that left her to have 15 spinal surgeries.
After 120-minutes, even some die-hard fans might even find themselves perplexed about what they just saw onstage and needing to come down from the inevitable pop sugar high. One thing most everyone can agree on though judging from the crowd’s reaction to the finale is that the tap-dance prelude to “Straight Up” still remains 20 seconds of absolute visual and auditory perfection even 31 years later.