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The “Firework” singer kicked off her Play residency at the Resorts World Theater on Wednesday (29 December) with an explosive show full of anthropomorphic household objects, dancing mushrooms and a giant rocking horse.
In a review for Rolling Stone, Mark Gray wrote that the huge, bizarre items felt like “an ode to Pee-wee’s Playhouse”, Pee-wee Herman’s children’s TV show.
“One set piece for ‘Chained to the Rhythm’ featured a dancing alarm clock choreographing moves alongside a sock puppet and two rhythmic walkie-talkies,” Gray said. “Another scene included a massive bathroom, featuring a colossal tub, a mammoth soap bar, and, yep, a toilet that talked.”
In one part of the show, which has resulted in numerous memes, Perry wears a bra made of two smashed Corona beer cans that she drinks from on stage. She also sits on a giant crushed up can of “Swish beer”, a nod to her 2017 song “Swish Swish”.
Billboard’s Melinda Sheckells, however, wrote that the gimmick actually made for a “surprisingly poignant moment”, in which “Perry lactates beer from a tin-can bra during a socially conscious dialogue with her trash heap pal, Mr Masky”, a giant disposable face covering.
Another set piece widely shared on social media comes during Perry’s rendition of “California Gurls”, in which she twerks on a giant loo roll next to a talking toilet that contains a dancing poo.
Twitter users were left baffled by the scene, with one commenter writing: “The reason Katy Perry will never truly sit amongst the greats is because she refuses to just put on a show of her IMPECCABLE string of hits with some good choreo and opts to have a stupid dancing poo instead.”
Another, however, joked: “Katy Perry’s Vegas residency including a singing poo that has a corn kernel as a tooth… high art.”
Ultimately, Rolling Stone said that the show was “quintessential Perry, who indulged the emotional, the over-the-top, the whimsical, the psychedelic, and even the cheesy over the course of 95 minutes”.