Monday, Dec. 23, 2013 | 2:27 p.m.
I Am Britney Jean
Pop princess Britney Spears will fly 30 feet over the stage out into her audience when her new “Piece of Me” residency show has its world premiere on Friday at Planet Hollywood. A three-ton moving tree is the centerpiece of one of the 100-minute show’s seven acts, with Britney taking a wild bungee jump from it, swinging out and then returning to its branches.
Britney will sing and dance her way through a curtain of “rain,” snow and pyrotechnics. We are likely to see her in a suspended cage. Proving she’s not afraid of heights and fully ready for the fun of a Strip spectacular, she will be suspended from the ceiling of the new theater The Axis in Planet Hollywood (formerly PH Live) and lowered to the stage as an “angel.” Magic, anyone?
Audiences immersed in the wraparound side walls built from the stage along the theater’s side will feel bombarded by 53 projectors inside a starry, 280-degree laser-light planetarium show. Britney will be seen live in the video effects shot in advance in Hollywood. Check out the disco balls and fly-trap jungle effects.
“The lighting effects are so state-of-the-art, it’s a jaw-dropping experience,” one of the Planet Hollywood execs told me. “Unlike anything anybody has ever seen before. Even the entire production team was stunned at how incredible it is when they saw it for the first time.”
Britney’s manager Larry Rudolph told me, “The stage and the entire production is about twice the size of anything we’ve ever done in an arena on our touring concerts. This is way more than just the greatest hits!”
Her 14 dancers will surround her and fully revolve in metal circular wheels and use moveable mirrors to walk through and see through. Sunday night’s “I Am Britney Jean” special on E! Entertainment revealed show secrets.
Very impressive was the tough, rigorous and hard-work schedule that Britney, director Baz Halprin, costume designers with no less than seven outfits changes, dancers and choreographers have ploughed through in advance of Friday.
Some of the dancers were shot as they were injured from the strenuous practice sessions: twisted ankles, bruising and swollen limbs needing medical attention and ice packs. Thirty-two-year-old Britney suffered what’s known as “dancer whiplash” and with pain in her neck thought she’d damaged it, but a day of rest and relaxation healed fast.
However, she did take a doctor’s B-12 vitamin shot when she began to feel rundown and exhausted. Britney isn’t just an amazing, physically fit and attractive global superstar in her work ethic and performances; incredibly, she also is producing and co-directing the show.
She has selected the setlist, and although she desperately wanted to include “Alien,” she postponed that at the last moment so as not to delay the intense rehearsal schedules. Britney promises to add it to her second run of shows starting in mid-April.
Commenting on the final selection of 24 songs, she said: “It’s kind of tough because the fans want a certain selection of songs, and many of them want to hear the old hits. But then for me I have to keep it fresh to do the show, so I have to incorporate some of the new stuff. I hope my fans get a personal feeling from the show and a piece of me, a piece of my soul, because I am putting my heart and soul into this.”
She’ll open with “Work, Bitch” and follow with “Womanizer,” “Three,” “Oops…I Did It Again,” “Baby One More Time,” “Me Against the Music,” “Slave 4 U,” “Toxic,” “Circus,” “Scream and Shout,” “Till The World Ends,” “Piece of Me,” “Hot As Ice,” “Boys,” “Perfume,” “I Wanna Go,” “Lucky,” “Stronger,” “If You Seek Amy,” “Get Naked — I Got A Plan,” “You Drive Me Crazy,” “Do Somethin’,” “Freakshow” and finish with “Gimme More.”
Planet Hollywood officials confirmed this morning our Vegas DeLuxe reports that red-carpet stars for Friday’s glittering gala opening will include Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Sia, Serena Williams, Adam Lambert, Mario Lopez and DJ Pauly D. Britney’s parents, her sons, her sister and new boyfriend David Lucado also will attend the premiere.
We’ll have the latest on “Piece of Me” in our weekly Weekend Celebrity Preview on Friday. We’ll report live from the red carpet on Friday night via Twitter @robin_leach and then post a report and first photos here at Vegas DeLuxe on Saturday.
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.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
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Catering to the young and modern crowd, Planet Hollywood is a one-stop shop for entertainment with its massive shopping mall, slew of restaurants, spacious casino and clubs.
The ambiance of the casino is retro-chic meets high-tech with black granite floors throughout and colorful LED lights throughout the space. The theme carries into the 100,000 square-foot casino with 250 flat screens topping off slot machines. The casino is also home to 87 tables, a sports book and a poker room.
There's also the Miracle Mile Shops, one Vegas' largest malls, with 140 stores including BCBG Max Azaria, bebe, Urban Outfitters and The Discovery Channel Store.
Following an afternoon of shopping, guests can satisfy their appetites at one of the gourmet restaurants in Planet Hollywood, like the non-traditional approach to steakhouses at Strip House or check out the exotic Far East motif at KOI restaurant and lounge. And if guests are still looking for more, they can spend the after hours at Privé, Triq or Krave nightclubs.
Perhaps one of the resorts biggest attractions came in March with the addition of "Peepshow." The naughty twist on the story of Little Bo Peep is modern-day spin on the run-of-the-mill Vegas topless review. The "Peepshow" stage has seen visiting celebs like Scary Spice Mel B, "Dancing with the Stars" Kelly Monaco and Playboy's Holly Madison.