Katy Perry Plays Larger-Than-Life Hits at Las Vegas Residency: Concert Review

Global pop superstar Katy Perry lets her colors burst with larger-than-life hits at playful Las Vegas residency Katy Perry: PLAY. Transforming the 5,000-capacity theater at Resorts World Las Vegas into "Perry's Playland," the "Smile" singer takes on the role of Katy Doll: a plaything dwarfed by the oversized props around her. "I am Katy Perry, and you are at PLAY," Perry says to start the show, stepping out onto a living playground that also serves as an homage to Pee-wee's Playhouse. "My audience in Vegas, they deserve the hits. You need to escape. It's weird out there, so let's escape together." 

A packed crowd of KatyCats of all ages turned out to escape with Perry into a fun whimsical wonderland, brought to life with a rotating troupe of quirky characters: Perry packs playtime with puppets, a 16-foot-tall animatronic talking toilet named Johnny, and backup dancers dressed as animated household items and bikini-clad frogs. A combination of Toy Story, Pee-wee's Playhouse, and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, the always quirky and offbeat PLAY is pure Perry, amplifying the spectacle of her sometimes surreal Super Bowl halftime show

Never upstaged by her cleverly costumed guest stars like the viral Left Shark mascot (who cameos in one of the animated sequences framing the five-act story of PLAY), Perry is very much the star of this singalong dance party that's as kooky as it is camp — with a capital K.

(Photo: John Shearer / Getty Images for Katy Perry)

Splashy set pieces include a child's playroom with Perry standing atop a giant rocking horse, a bathroom (with punny potty humor), a "trash-un" runway show inside a garbage can, a glowing disco dance floor, and a trippy, mushroom-fueled sequence as psychedelic as it is Cirque Du Soleil-esque. 

For all the irreverence of charmingly childlike PLAY, the candy-colored production's glitzy and glamorous final act, "Perry Playland," is a showcase for the reigning pop princess as Perry plows through empowering anthems like "Roar" and "Firework."

The 19-song setlist of Perry's greatest hits is tailored for Las Vegas with a jazzy rendition of "Waking Up In Vegas," a rave remix of "Daisies," a soulful arrangement of "Part of Me," and a sweeping showgirl version of "Teenage Dream." Staged like a scene from a classic MGM musical, Perry performs "Smile" like a '70s throwback before belting out a cover of Whitney Houston's power ballad "Greatest Love of All." 

The sing-your-heart-out finale is Teenage Dream smash hit "Firework," a pop explosion of colors and pure Perry-ness ending PLAY time on one last high note.


1. "ET"
2. "Chained to the Rhythm"
3. "Dark Horse"
4. "It's Not The End of The World"
5. "California Gurls"
6. "Hot N' Cold" / "Last Friday Night"
7. "Waking Up in Vegas"
8. "Bon Appetit"
9. "Daisies"
10. "I Kissed A Girl"
11. "Lost" / "Part of Me" / "Wide Awake"
12. "Swish Swish"
13. "When I'm Gone" / "Walking On Air!"
14. "Never Really Over"
15. "Teenage Dream"
16. "Smile"
17. "Roar"
18. "Greatest Love Of All"
19. "Firework"

Katy Perry: PLAY runs for 16 more shows from May 27th — August 13th at Resorts World Theatre. Tickets and VIP packages are available at the Resorts World Las Vegas website and AXS. See PopCulture's complete guide to Katy Perry: PLAY