Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 | 4:24 p.m.
Shania Twain arrives at Caesars Palace
It was an arrival fit for a queen, and Shania Twain proved that she’s the reigning princess of country pop when she arrived on horseback for her official welcome at Caesars Palace this afternoon. In fact, the Canadian star followed a posse of 40 horses down a closed section of the Strip by the fountains at Caesars.
She laughed: “I could have gone riding all around town all day.” Caesars Palace President Gary Selesner quipped: “ I thought you were headed for the Mirage.” Shania added: “I am loving Las Vegas. We are being treated like gold. I am going to miss it whenever I take a break, and we haven’t even started the show yet.
“Our adrenaline is racing at the highest level. I am high on it. A lot of work is going into the show with new, never-before-seen elements. It’s going to be a very personalized show.”
It’s taken some 2 years since the first lunch to discuss a Las Vegas run to reach Shania’s Dec. 1 start of her 3-year residency deal. AEG chief John Meglen told me: “We are 75 percent loaded in with the show, and we are now working on the video projections and the computer automation. I’m really impressed with the sets. It all feels larger than life but at the same time very intimate, and that’s a tough thing to pull off.
“I’m realizing just how good director Raj Kapoor is -- a genius. He is leading the next generation of directors. The show is at 100 minutes right now, and we’ll probably have it at 110 minutes for opening night. It races along. It all goes so fast, yet it’s longer than other shows on the Strip. That’s a good sign. It doesn’t drop for a moment.
“I’ve seen the Marc Bouwer costumes. Every woman who sees Shania wearing them onstage is going to go wild for them. The gowns are incredible. It’s her trademark look mixed with some new ones, and they all become a major part of the show.
“With Shania joining our lineup of Celine Dion, Sir Elton John and Rod Stewart, I don’t have an empty week in the schedule now for two years, maybe not even an empty day to fill.”
Gary, who celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Colosseum in March, is just as happy: “Shania is doing big business. We’re literally sold out for her first run, and she’s already selling strongly for the second that starts in March. She will also help -- just like Celine -- Las Vegas recover from the recession.
“She changes the market again with her demographic fan followers. Caesars now has two of the highest record sellers of all time with Celine and Shania. We have the two sides of the coin. Celine is a world-class crooner with a huge palate of songs, and Shania is rural, urban and earthy.”
Raj told me he’s very comfortable with the show at this stage: “We’ve got 23 of her biggest hits, some full and some in a medley. She’s got six of the most extraordinary wardrobe changes. We have 13 people in the band and three singers. Her sister is a part of it, so Shania feels comfortable onstage.
“She’s a little bit nervous, but so very confident. We hit it off in 2 hours of meeting. I have been a huge fan of hers and always wanted to work with her. You will see and hear and experience things you have never seen before on any stage anywhere.”
We’ll have our full report, photos and videos right here at Vegas DeLuxe on Thursday, along with our full interview with Raj; our thanks to Las Vegas Sun photographer Christopher DeVargas and contributing photographer Erik Kabik for their quick and fast photo galleries today.
Shania said it best: “ I’ve been away a long time, and this is the most wonderful welcome. I cannot wait to start singing again for my fans.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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Transport yourself to the opulent and excessive Roman Empire at Caesars Palace. But the ever-changing Caesars Palace is far from ancient. The hotel and casino is constantly raising the bar for what visitors can expect in a Vegas resort experience.
Caesars Palace features 3,348 rooms and suites in five towers, including the new luxury boutique Nobu Hotel and Restaurant, which opened Feb. 4, 2013, in the totally remodeled Centurian Tower. Caesars features 129,000 square feet of gaming space, including the Strip’s largest poker room and a 250-seat sports book. Other amenities include about two dozen restaurants, a four-level shopping mall, four pools, a spa, Pure and Poetry nightclubs and Pussycat Dolls.
Dining options include restaurants from world-renown chefs Guy Savoy, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsay and, on Feb. 4, 2013, Nobu Matsuhisa.
You never know what characters you’ll run into at Caesars with regular performers like Jerry Seinfeld, Bette Midler, Elton John and maybe even the emperor himself.