What Ricky Martin offers up at this point in his long career is pure Las Vegas, 110 minutes of splashy, non-stop, choreographed entertainment. The tatted-up Puerto Rican native is every inch the showman, a perfectly chiseled metrosexual hunk with a powerful voice capable of belt or lilt, chops that he used to great effect over the course of a bilingual, 19-song, career-spanning set.
Backed by a crack team of scantily clad dancers (male and female), an 11-piece band as tight and prescribed as any Broadway pit orchestra, strobe lights, fog, and massive video projections, Martin poses dramatically at key moments, sinking into the mist-covered floor with a grand touch of Copperfield.
In the sitar-inflected “Jaleo” (yes, Martin can make Indian go Latin), the man’s passionate vocals nearly took a back seat to the visuals which included all those sexy dancers doing all that nasty, Carnivale dancing, and Martin’s crowd-pleasing, pantomime keester humping against one of the ladies in his troop. The massive production number ended with sweaty Rick doing a kind of slo-mo Tae Bo routine, mic down pants.
Martin moved through the hits, from a lush, smoldering take on 1995’s “Fuego De Noche Nieve de Dia” to the seductive “Tu Recuerdo” from his latest album, “Ricky Martin MTV Unplugged,” to a nod toward power chord gringo rock on “Revolucion.”
A showstopper among a set of showstoppers was the international hit “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” but Martin’s lengthy post-song soliloquy suggested the loca part of the artist’s vida is a thing of the past.
“I’m having a great time in my life. Finally,” he offered. “I can focus on the things that I have instead of what I don’t have.” Multimillionaire entertainers bemoaning problems of the rich is a fairly common practice, but likable Martin pulls off sincere quite well.