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Gwen Stefani’s ongoing journey brings her to Planet Hollywood

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Just a Girl debuts June 27 at Zappos Theater.
Photo: Greg Allen / AP Photo

Gwen Stefani is reportedly nervous about her new Las Vegas residency show, Just a Girl, launching June 27 at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood. The 48-year-old pop/fashion icon told Entertainment Tonight she was in “panic mode” during rehearsals: “It feels like it’s not going to happen, but it will happen, and it’s going to be one of those things that I look back on and go, ‘That was a huge chapter of my life.’ So I’m very excited.”

Perhaps reaching peak anticipation, she Instagrammed an advertisement for the show in the Los Angeles Times last weekend: “omg getting close #prayforme.”

Nervous excitement can be a good thing leading into a superstar’s first big Vegas show. Stefani follows Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez in what’s shaping up to be a Planet Hollywood tradition. These are incredibly famous female entertainers we’ve seen on stage and screen, yet we don’t have any idea what their Strip productions will look like because they’re something entirely new for them. Britney’s show was a wildly successful visual spectacular and fan-friendly dance party. J.Lo’s production—which wraps in September—was even more mysterious but turned out to be a sweaty, vibrant musical tour de force, a true showcase for her specific skill set.

What will we get from Gwen? Her live concert has been much more of a rock show, benefitting from her musical foundation as frontwoman of No Doubt. Stefani and promoter Live Nation have promised a production that reflects the journey of her entire career, which encompasses six No Doubt albums and four solo LPs. She has more material spanning the genre spectrum to pull from than either of her Planet Hollywood predecessors. A typical set could include pop-reggae ballad “Underneath It All,” 1980s-style hip-pop dance fave “Hollaback Girl” and disco-ish radio hit “Make Me Like You.”

Stefani has a lot more range than is typically acknowledged, evidenced in her last two huge Vegas shows. She played Rock in Rio with No Doubt in 2015, then returned to the Strip during her This Is What the Truth Feels Like solo tour at T-Mobile Arena in August 2016; the latter concert included just five No Doubt songs. If she goes all VH1 Storytellers on us, she could really dig into her own personal favorites, mixing in rare performances for a show that will almost certainly include Cher-volume costume changes.

“I feel like it’s the kind of show that I’d never be able to do until this point in my life,” Stefani told ET. “[It’s] nostalgic, bringing people through the long journey I’ve been on with music and sharing that. It’s really just that same journey again but in a new, Vegas-y way.”

It’s also the first new show since the venue was rechristened Zappos Theater. The partnership between the local online retailer and Caesars Entertainment is more than just a sponsorship. Stefani actually met with Tony Hsieh and hung out at the company’s Downtown headquarters and the Fergusons’ Market in the Alley event. Expect more quirky-fun surrounding her show and others at Planet Hollywood.

GWEN STEFANI: JUST A GIRL June 27, 29-30 & July 3, 6-7, 11, 13-14, 18, 20-21, 9 p.m., $80-$260. Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood, 702-785-5882.

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Brock Radke

Brock Radke has been writing about Las Vegas for almost two decades. He currently serves as editor-at-large covering entertainment and ...

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