They need to know, they need to know …”
Marc Anthony’s 1999 U.S. breakthrough hit could be paraphrased as the theme of his first tour with spouse Jennifer Lopez.
Tabloid scrutiny has been less on whether the couple delivers the musical goods as the new Steve and Eydie, and more on whether Lopez is carrying twins beneath her uncharacteristically concealing stage attire.
A mainstream newspaper, the Hartford Courant, could not ignore the frustration earlier this week: Lopez’s flowing caftan “went windswept during (her) concert performance this month at Mohegan Sun, revealing an unmistakable bulge. Sweet curiosity turned into genuine irritation,” wrote Joan Klimkiewicz. “Fans, celebrity gawkers and the press at large have demanded to know: Why — just why! — are (Lopez and Christina Aguilera) refusing to confirm their obvious pregnancies?”
Concert reviewers sent to appraise the show on its own merits found a Vegas-worthy spectacle in which the only threat to a happy household comes from Anthony upstaging his spouse on the more familiar turf of an arena stage.
He’s a seasoned concert draw who played the same MGM Grand Garden arena back in 2000, albeit only drawing about 5,000 people back then. He joined the world of supercelebrity pop when he and Lopez married in June 2004.
By contrast, today’s show at the MGM Grand Garden is part of Lopez’s first concert tour. However, Las Vegas can claim a small piece of trivia if you want to be real picky about it: Lopez performed one song in the MGM arena as part of the Billboard Music Awards in 1999, though it was more like an interpretive dance because she was so obviously lip-syncing.
But now they’re here, together and most likely one big happy family. And if, maybe just maybe, they’re looking for a nice place to raise that unofficial, unconfirmed family? Perhaps out at Lake Las Vegas, in a house Celine Dion soon won’t need as much as she does now? The couple can rest assured that casino executives will be watching the show to see just how far out to roll the red carpet to make this show more of a regular affair.
Reviews from other cities mention pyrotechnics and many a costume change for Lopez. “A rainbow of lights and fireworks ushered her on with a bang, and she appeared in a light blue and white baby-doll top and bell-bottoms. A line of male and female dancers came out to spice up the opening number, ‘Do It Well,’ with some hip-hop choreography,” Chy Varela wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle last week.
Sounds like a Colosseum-ready diva showcase of Celine proportions. But most reviews say Anthony and a large salsa band were a hard act to follow.
“His opening set had all the pomp, pretense and polish (not to mention punch) of a headliner,” wrote T’cha Dunlevy of the Montreal Gazette. “People were dancing in the aisles … and singing along wholeheartedly during the ballads.
“I’m amazed,” he said, during one such singalong, shaking his head in wonder before closing his eyes to resume his verse. “Wow,” he picked up, at song’s end, marveling at the roar of the crowd.
“He put his hand on his heart; then, as the applause increased, he dropped to his knees and kissed the stage. Touching — until you realize that he did the same routine Wednesday night at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre. So let’s call him smart.”
The energy level was “noticeably lower” for Lopez, Dunlevy reported. “All was forgiven when they returned together for a couple of romantic duets at night’s end. Sappy, yet effective.”who: Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony
when: 8 p.m. today
where: MGM Grand Garden arena, 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. South
tickets: $84.75-$216 (891-7777)