Be in the presence of greatness. Very few performers can boast of a career spanning nearly six decades. Fewer still can say they’ve sold more than 100 million records worldwide. And when you account for the awards—the Golden Globe, the Tony, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the Kennedy Center Honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom—then you can only be talking about Diana Ross.
Who else has two stars on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame—one as a member of The Supremes, one as a solo act? Who else can say she acted in movies with Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor and Michael Jackson? Who else can claim to have influenced a group of performers that ranges from Beyoncé to Phil Collins to the Notorious B.I.G.? Ross’ list of accomplishments and accolades is such that it’s almost hard to believe one person collected them all. But she did, and she’s bringing all that history with her to Encore Theater.
Savor the glamour. Ross’ Endless Memories residency will be a spectacle; we’d expect nothing less of the performer who has “set the standard for modern, over-the-top concert glamour,” says Vogue’s Alex Frank, who further commended Ross “for harnessing the power of an onstage outfit.” It’ll be shocking if we don’t get at least two costume changes, possibly more.
Listen to the stories. Did you know that Ross dated Kiss’ Gene Simmons from 1980 to 1983? That she designed the costumes for her 1975 film Mahogany? That she was named in Michael Jackson’s will as a secondary guardian to his three children? That, in 1974, she was the first African-American woman to co-host the Academy Awards? Ross has enough showbiz stories to populate several documentaries. Hopefully, she’ll share a few.
Possibly rub elbows with other great Rosses. If you look at Ross’ Twitter account (@DianaRoss), you’ll find post after post celebrating the accomplishments of her kids and grandkids—most notably Golden Globe-winning Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay co-star Evan Ross. You don’t roll that deep with your family and not invite them out to hang in Vegas for a few days.
Experience the songs. Ross can give us an entire evening’s worth of timeless No. 1 hits without even reaching outside of the 1960s. “Baby Love,” “Come See About Me,” “Someday We’ll Be Together,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” … her time with The Supremes is the stuff of legend for excellent reason. But that’s discounting her astonishing run of hits in the 1970s (“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Touch Me in the Morning,” “Do You Know Where You’re Going To,” “Upside Down,” “I’m Coming Out”) and her hit 1980s duets (including “Endless Love,” with Lionel Richie). Point is, all Diana Ross has to do is show up and do what’s been coming naturally to her for a lifetime.
Diana Ross February 7, 9, 10, 14, 16, 17, 21, 23 & 24, 8 p.m., $61-$301. Encore Theater, 702-770-7000.