CeeLo Green is Loberace

Unlike what was shown in the flier, there was no burning piano. There was no piano at all. In fact, there were no musical instruments. Other than CeeLo Green and a few guest stars, there were no musicians. CeeLo sang to canned music and, even worse, canned backup singers.

What he did have was a ton of showgirl dancers, elaborate set pieces (a pulpit on hydraulic lifts, a golden spiral staircase) and excessive product-placement for his sponsored alcohol product, Ty-Ku. As advertised, CeeLo’s costumes were a kitschy, gaudy ode to Liberace. Lessening the glamor was the fact that his costumes seemed to have no restricting seams or buttons, or anything that might be considered “tailored.” He wore draping harem pants and was often barefoot. In one instance, while donning a golden Statue-of-Liberty-style mumu, he said, “I’m starting to look metrosexual.” So an assistant draped a glitter silver robe on top. The result was not of a dashing showman, but an eccentric in pajamas.

The show was a mix of CeeLo’s hits and songs from which he has drawn inspiration. That included a Boy George impersonator, a mini CeeLo and, for the highlight of the night, a cameo by the members of his old group, Goodie Mob. While it sometimes seemed like he had more star power than stage presence, it all came together for the finale, in which the animatronic Rockafire Explosion band from Showbiz Pizza backed him as he played “Fuck You.” This show has the potential to be really good, and since Loberace will run through April, there will be time for him to make some needed tweaks. ★★☆☆☆

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