Las Vegas Sun

September 20, 2017

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For these four Las Vegas headliner shows, the second time’s better than the first


Tom Donoghue/

Celine Dion arrives at the “Veronic Voices” premiere at Bally’s on Friday, June 28, 2013.

You never forget the first time, and the third time’s the charm, but what about the second time? Everyone deserves a second chance? That doesn’t quite work for this story.

Four Las Vegas headliner shows in recent memory were better the second time around. But to be Krystle Carrington clear, all four shows were terrific the first time. It’s just that the second time around was ever-so-slightly better.

Here are the four shows, and here is why sometimes the second time is better than the first:

    • Celine Dion, Caesars Palace

      First date: 2011, the Colosseum, Caesars Palace

      Dion is one of the best Strip headliners today, and her return to Caesars on March 15, 2011, with “Celine’s Back” was phenomenal. Love or hate the superstar Canadian chanteuse, Dion’s amazing voice is a gift, and she can entertain. The night also happened to be this journalist’s birthday.

      Second date: 2013, the Colosseum, Caesars Palace

      There were a few changes, noticeably that Dion sang Adele instead of Michael Jackson. But Dion didn’t miss a note, and the number of standing ovations was still plentiful two years later. The evening’s final song, whose staging seemed new and more dramatic, was absolutely astounding and a perfect ending.

    • Joan Rivers and Frank Marino on the set of E!'s "Fashion Police."

      Frank Marino’s “Divas,” the Quad

      First date: 2011, the Quad

      I thought I was over drag-queen shows after years of living in Southern California and often attending performances in West Hollywood. Frank Marino’s “Divas” changed that. The female impersonators, with Marino at the helm as Joan Rivers in many gorgeous costume changes, and dancers are faaabulous.

      Second date: 2013, the Quad

      In accompanying a colleague and friend to “Divas” two years later, the show hasn’t missed a beat. Marino updated his opening monologue as Rivers to reflect current events, and the Whitney Houston impersonator was back in the spotlight after the singer’s death. “Divas” a drag? Not a chance.

    • Caesars Palace headliner Matt Goss performs at Royal Albert Hall in London on Oct. 21, 2011.

      Matt Goss, Caesars Palace

      First date: 2009, Lounge at the Palms

      Matt Goss’s resume includes his British boyband days in Bros, and his show at Lounge at the Palms was to be a throwback with a live band and sexy backup dancers. Nicole Scherzinger of The Pussycat Dolls sang “Feeling Good” with Goss onstage, and Deborah (formerly) Debbie Gibson was in the crowd.

      Second date: 2013, The Gossy Room, Caesars Palace

      The longest time between shows of the four and in a new location, Goss had really grown as a performer in four years. His voice, confidence, swagger and stage presence were much stronger, and his band and he really fill the intimate space at the former Cleopatra’s Barge. Goss is charming, stylish and sexy.

    • Boyz II Men, the Mirage

      First date: Motownphilly was back again — opening night was in February — and it was an evening of pure entertainment from beginning to end. The hits, screaming fans and a cappella awesomeness were in abundance, and the roses for fans ran out faster than one can say “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” five times.

      Second date: 2013, Terry Fator Theater, the Mirage

      The shortest span — a matter of mere months — was because a friend from San Diego wanted to see the show. The hits, screaming fans and a cappella awesomeness were still in abundance, and the production was slightly better with minor production changes.

      And now we’ve reached the end of this story — and “The End of the Road.”

    Don Chareunsy is senior editor for arts and entertainment of the Las Vegas Sun. Follow him on Twitter at

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