By any measure, Lady Gaga has celebrated an astonishing past few months. The beloved Mother Monster made no secret of pouring herself into her role as Ally in “A Star Is Born” alongside co-star and director, Bradley Cooper. The pair developed a relationship of complete trust and respect that translates onto the screen in every scene, not merely in their powerful musical performances, together and apart, in this captivating retelling of the familiar story.

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Lady Gaga was glowing with support for Cooper and castmate, Sam Elliott, when the announcement of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nominations on December 14, and she was particularly proud of the nod for Outstanding Cast. The creative experience of making “A Star Is Born” clearly bonded the ensemble of already soulful and gifted artists into a “family,” as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta herself described.

As if the heady praise for her acting performance on the heels of awards season is not enough to put Lady Gaga on another creative career trajectory, the performer known for constant reinvention has reinvented herself in the image of another lovely, intelligent, and otherworldly persona to open her Las Vegas residency at the Park Theater in “Enigma.”

Reports by Mashable, People, and Yahoo on December 29 and 30 prove that superstar had lots of support from stellar friends at this auspicious debut, which took fans to a unique kind of narrator and drew them as close as ever to the intimate side of this creative force.

A blue-haired Lady Gaga packs Enigma with emotion, power, and gratitude in Las Vegas. [Image source:Henry Morales-YouTube]
A blue-haired Lady Gaga packs Enigma with emotion, power, and gratitude in Las Vegas. [Image source:Henry Morales-YouTube]

Meet the other being on stage

What has endeared Lady Gaga to adoring audiences, for more than a decade, is her ability to completely transform herself to a part, even for a single music video or performance, and never lose her own sense of self or that of the faithful souls who have witnessed the many transformations. The bedazzled, sequined, or sirloin-wearing Germanotta, as with the meat dress, expresses a personal statement through costumes and through capturing completely vulnerable, stripped-down moments, as in her piano version of “Joanne,” or the unforgettable performance of “Till It Happens to You” at the 2016 Oscar ceremony.

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Sometimes bare, and sometimes jeweled, her heart is still on her sleeve.

There are mixed interpretations of the CGI guide, Enigma, who both speaks to, and through, Lady Gaga throughout the show as sort of a superhero alter ego. From the early days of scoff endured as teen Stefani refused to surrender her talents or her sense of identity, through the monster hits that made every radio playlist, to her penetrating performance as Ally, Enigma propels the energy and the story to a climax.

A bit of political and planetary commentary is thrown in, and whether the being is understood entirely or not, everyone can celebrate the confidence that Lady Gaga exudes in her current skin, and the way she inspires the same self-acceptance and courage in others.

A closer in blue

YouTube is already filled with glimpses from “Enigma,” displaying Lady Gaga’s fine vocal form and blue hair, perhaps a tribute to the signature ballad of “A Star Is Born,” “Shallow.” It could just as easily be an entirely personal reference for the star.

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As always, this performer gets very raw, real, and unguarded around her audience, and nothing in her words could replicate with the same authenticity through any CGI techniques.

For her closing performance, she breaks down in tears while performing “Shallow,” relating unabashedly her pain in being misunderstood in dress, accent, attitude, and personal worth. Not holding back emotion or language, she offers “They thought it was shallow. But this sh** is deep as f&**.”

With sheer sincerity, she thanks her fans, saying “I love you so much, you’re a star” adding that “the truth is, you gave birth to me.”

No amount of neon glitz from the Vegas Strip can cover for a genuine heart, and Lady Gaga's still got one.

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