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October 17, 2018

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Photos: Celine Dion’s triumphant return triggers contract extension talk


Gerard Schachmes

Celine Dion rehearses at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on March 12, 2011.

Robin Leach's Vegas DeLuxe

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Celine Dion rehearses at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on March 12, 2011.

Click to enlarge photo

Celine Dion rehearses at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on March 12, 2011.

Celine Dion’s big day has finally arrived and with it the economic recovery hopes of an entire city and one of the world’s largest hotel corporations. The global superstar returns to The Colosseum at Caesars Palace tonight, and the world will be watching her premiere via a global satellite hookup from as faraway as Australia and Europe.

Expected first-night gala guests include Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber flying in from London, hometown master magicians Siegfried & Roy and talk show host Rosie O’Donnell. AEG producers, Celine’s Web site and Caesars Palace posted this morning the first photographs from her final dress rehearsal Saturday.

I am reliably told that Celine and manager husband Rene Angelil are already thinking of extending the new three-year contract by two additional years to make it another five-year stay. Five is a lucky number for the French-Canadian songbird and explains why she ended her last five-year run on Dec. 15, 2007, and starts the new run tonight -- March 15, 2011.

Those discussions have been triggered by her amazing ticket sales that are ringing up record numbers at the box office. Even January’s ducats will go on sale Saturday 10 months out, with 16 shows added over New Year’s from Dec. 28 through Jan. 22.

“We are ready for the opening,” Rene told me after the final rehearsal. “This is now it. Both Celine and I are very happy it is all together and ready. Celine says it is the perfect show for the fans, and I know they will love all the music and the special effects. She really excels singing live. She is outstanding and feels she is at the peak of her career. I believe people will want to see this spectacular again and again.”

Las Vegas is filled with fans from all over Europe and Canada, including Mayor Regis LaBeaume from Celine’s hometown of Quebec. Cirque du Soleil CEO Daniel Lamarre is excited: “We welcome Celine’s return to Las Vegas because she will add her dynamic appeal to the city’s entertainment scene.” will continue this story later today with an interview with AEG President John Meglen, producers of the show and an overview of Celine’s triumphant return to the music venue that was built for her, The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. Plus, check back at 9:30 p.m. for a review of Saturday night’s preview performance.

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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