This is brilliant, and not just because it has Lady Gaga in it, although that’s really smart too.

Break out the pointe shoes! Lady GaGa is doing ballet!

We wonder what she will wear?

In an unlikely pairing, the Museum of Contemporary Art in El Lay will be presenting a special performance from the Bolshoi Ballet and Lady GaGa on November 14th.

The production, which is being called Ballets Russes Italian Style (The Shortest Musical You Will Never See Again), is being overseen by renowned Italian performance artist Francesco Vezzoli and finds the gorgeous dancers choreographed to Lady GaGa’s inventive music. The performance is said to be featuring the debut of Lady GaGa’s Speechless, off her Fame Monster release.

Sounds EPIC!

Alotta Vagaga

On Monday Beau and I went to the Lady Gaga show in Richmond. It was awesome.

I know that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who love Gaga, and those who think she’s gaga. I’m clearly in the first camp, but don’t disparage those who won’t join me (so do me the same respect by not leaving your snarky comments here).

The show opened with a short film starring Gaga, called Who Shot Candy Warhol? Gaga combs her hair with a Hello Kitty brush while answering an interviewer’s questions. The whole thing is very Truffaut, until somebody gets shot! In the heart! Gaga appeared onstage in all her pant(y)less glory and sang Paparazzi. And she danced. And she was actually singing while she danced. It was impressive, and authentic, and fun.

Gaga is an ethusiastic performer. After each number, she’d chit chat with the audience, telling us how wonderful her fans were and how excited she was to be there. I think she kind of got off on being on stage, though, because while singing, she’d intermittently shout, “Scream!” And the audience would scream. Or “Hold your guns in the air and shoot ’em” (during “Beautiful, Dirty, Rich”). She loved telling us what to do…and then watching us do it.

The show was sparse, stripped down. The set was almost austere as far as pop shows go, and she only had three back up dancers, three men who’d been traveling with her for two years. The biggest set piece was a real scooter they pushed her in on before she sang “LoveGame.”

Yes. She wore the bubble dress, for a while. She wore it while she played the lucite piano and sang stripped down (pun intended) versions of “Brown Eyes” and “Poker Face.”

Although the show was fun, it was short. No opening act (yay!). She didn’t sing all the songs on her album (losers included “Paper Gangsta” and “I Like It Rough”). But she gave 110% to what she did do, and, like a honest-to-real diva, she showed up 60 minutes late for the show.

But, she said she was sorry.

If You Seek Britney

“There’s only two types of people in the world,” Britney Spears opines on her new album, “the ones that entertain and the ones that observe.” From her perspective, I don’t doubt for a second that this is the truth, seeing as she’s one of the most oft observed people in American culture (or should I say surveilled?).

You knew it was only a matter of time before I wrote about Circus, her second release in twelve months. Like 2007’s Blackout, Britney’s playing again with “grown-up” rhythms and arrangements, toying with “adult-oriented” lyrics, and essentially doing a great impression of a mature person.

The album’s standouts include “Phonography,” which meditates on the joys and considerations of phone sex; “Kill the Lights,” addressed to the prying paparazzi; the syncopated “Trouble”; and even the dirty-dirty innuendo of “If You Seek Amy” is sort of fun (“All of the boys and all of the girls are begging to if you seek amy”–when you say it out loud it makes more sense). But for me, the best track is “Unusual You,” an ethereal, harmonized dance piece that evokes electronica wizzes like Imogen Heap. Simple, sparing, and with apparent unflinching honesty, the lyrics are well-suited to the music. The song’s so good it’s hard to believe it’s really a Britney Spears song.

As many wins as there are on the album, there are a bunch of missteps. The clunky, accusing “Womanizer,” aside from resurrecting a ridiculous term, sounds like a rewritten attempt at Blackout‘s “Ooh Ooh Baby,” which was about as exciting as you might expect by that title. “Mmm Papi,” while fun, feels like it would have suited Britney about five years ago, prior to making babies. The beat in “Shattered Glass” sounds so much like the song preceding it that it’s hard to tell they’re two unique tracks. Finally, “Lace and Leather” promises the Joan Jett side of Britney but delivers Elvira in her place.

We don’t turn on any of the Fox sitcoms expecting Chekov; we shouldn’t expect the sense of craft and styling from Britney that we would a singer-songwriter. It doesn’t mean that “depth” and “Britney Spears” are mutually exclusive, but there is a sense of authenticity lacking in this album. Aside from its moments approaching greatness, her producers are still reluctant to let Britney go all-out into Kylie Minogue’s territory, where pop music is fun, interesting, and irresistible.