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Lady Gaga earned a standing ovation Friday night at the Toronto Film Festival after performing “Bad Romance” solo on the piano.
And that was before the TIFF headliner saw her Netflix biopic, Gaga: Five Foot Two, hold its world premiere at the Princess of Wales Theatre. Gaga had been expected to perform after the film screened, but decided to go onstage beforehand.
She dedicated her slow-tempo performance to the film’s director, Chris Moukarbel, who helped present the film to Gaga’s rapturous fans. “I’m just floored,” the director said after hearing Gaga perform. He watched stage-side as she rose from her piano to blow a kiss to her cheering fans and embrace them with outstretched arms.
“No matter how many times I’ve seen her, I’m just floored,” added Moukarbel. Also helping bring Gaga onstage in Toronto was Cameron Bailey, artistic director of the film festival, who initially thanked IFC Films and Gaumont for bringing Gaga: Five Foot Two to his event.
Just as quickly, Bailey recognized his error: “No, that’s incorrect. Thanks to Netflix for bringing us this film,” he added. That correction brought a loud and sustained “Yeah!” from Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos, who was sitting six rows back and, before long, rose to his feet to join the rest of the theater audience in welcoming Gaga onstage.
Earlier, on Wednesday and Thursday nights, the rock star gave her usual high-energy performance at the Air Canada Centre as she brought her Joanne World Tour to the city for a two-night stand. And on Friday morning, Gaga held a press conference to promote her Netflix film, while also announcing she would “take a rest” from music after the end of her current tour.
Gaga: Five Foot Two, directed by Emmy-nominated Moukarbel, offers behind-the-scenes access to Gaga, born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, as she meets with close friends and family, records and releases her 2016 album, Joanne, and deals with personal struggles.
The documentary is produced by Heather Parry for Live Nation Productions, and CAA brokered its sale to Netflix. The Toronto Film Festival runs through Sept. 17.
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