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January 20, 2018

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Review: High-energy Britney Spears ‘is enjoying every moment’ of refreshed show


Denise Truscello/WireImage/

Opening night of Britney Spears’ “Britney: Piece of Me” on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, at The Axis in Planet Hollywood.

‘Britney: Piece of Me’ Opening Night

Opening night of Britney Spears’ “Britney: Piece of Me” on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, at The Axis in Planet Hollywood.

Launch slideshow »

Britney Spears' Femme Fatale Tour at MGM Grand Garden Arena

Britney Spears' Femme Fatale Tour stop at MGM Grand Garden Arena on June 25, 2011. Launch slideshow »

Britney Spears Arrives at Planet Hollywood

Britney Spears arrives at Planet Hollywood on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Britney Spears at Linq Promenade

Britney Spears, with Planet Hollywood, Bally’s Las Vegas and Paris Las Vegas Regional President David Hoenemeyer, celebrates “Britney Day” at the Linq Promenade on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014, in Las Vegas.

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When pop princess Britney Spears sings “Work B*tch,” she really means it. She’s never been more physical or in shape in her life. She is such a nonstop ball of fiery energy, you’d swear that she was plugged into the power grid for the Strip’s nightly neon-light displays.

Britney’s dancing is extraordinary. The dance captain at “Britney: Piece of Me” at Axis at Planet Hollywood told me, “Britney works harder than we do. She’s onstage fast and furious for 100 minutes — actually longer than us. In 20 years of dancing, I’ve never seen anything like this.

“This is the hardest show on me physically in two decades. We lose about 10 pounds a week from dancing. Britney has more energy than most of us. She doesn’t stop — totally supercharged. The secret is that she is enjoying every moment of it. She gives way more than 100 percent.”

It’s true! She looks happy and radiantly beautiful the entire time she’s onstage. She’s sexy wearing the skimpiest of costumes. Her physique is stunning, like a ripped athlete. Britney is at the top of her game. (We hope to share new show photos of her this week, fingers crossed.)

From the get-go of her refreshed and reinvigorated spectacular, she explodes onto the stage, at first appearing through a cloud of smoke. She tosses her top hat into the frenzied, adoring crowd during “Work B*tch.”

There’s not a second of pause as her 14 synchronized dancers whisk her into a routine for “Womanizer,” so infectious with her backflips almost everybody in the theater is up out of their seats dancing and singing along. Britney wants a party, and she’s the ringleader.

As a battery of blinding lasers blasts off like a spaceship, the dancers grab light-sticks as Britney climbs over a human pyramid of dancers to get into “Break the Ice.” Seconds later, she’s run up stairs of the raised, side silver stage for “Piece of Me.”

Above are 120 video screens showing Britney’s videos. Below onstage is frenzied dancing as she powers across the stage. Her amazing, fab, fit look is on full display as she changes into a nude illusion top, schoolgirl tie and sexy booty shorts with kisses emblazoned on them for “In the Zone.”

Then suddenly the reveal of the rotating, bucking-blue mechanical guitar. Britney’s on fire with “I Love Rock and Roll” playing air guitar and shimmying and writhing over the guitar.

The mood changes with video of falling snow and flakes falling inside the theater for “Gimme More.” It leads to Britney suspended 30 feet high as a white angel with giant wings for “Everytime.”

She grooves into “Hit Me Baby One More Time” going from the white look into a sparkling, hot black leotard. She gets tied up by dancers twisting a red bolt of fabric around her for “Oops!...I Did It Again.” The multicolored lasers return for “Scream & Shout” as dancers and she frolic in revolving wheels.

Her Missy Elliott section ends up with “Boys” before she goes right into “Pretty Girls.” Four of her dancers are on psychedelic colored bikes, and she faces off with two others. It leads provocatively into a large clamshell with a stripper pole for “Get Naked,” where she’s spritzed with pouring water.

Incredibly, she hasn’t taken a break as she launches into “I’m a Slave for U” with shades of Cirque du Soleil’s S&M “Zumanity” at New York-New York. Every guy in the theater wanted to be the lucky one to be handcuffed and chained and crawl on all fours across the stage by Britney.

It is indeed the “Freakshow”! That leads into a chair cage routine for “Do Something” and “Circus” with Britney inside a ring of fire. For “If You Seek Amy,” she’s changed in a flash behind onstage screens into red bra and flirty, matching-red PVC miniskirt.

The quick-change artistry is so fast, the dancers don’t have time to fully zip up her skirt most nights. Britney doesn’t miss a beat — or doesn’t care about the wardrobe malfunction as she’s moving right onto “Breathe on Me” and “Touch of My Hand.”

They are two of six songs added in this second contract run of her new, two-year deal of the four-year pact with Caesars Entertainment, the parent company of Planet Hollywood.

It’s exhausting watching this fast and furious prime-pop extravaganza. The fans never want it to stop; I’m gasping for air. For “(You Drive Me) Crazy,” and it is, she’s flung from one group of dancers to another. Finally, it’s time to close with “Toxic” and her bungee leap from a jungle tree that dwarfs the stage.

In my Q+A with Britney posted Feb. 12, she said: “The intention wasn’t to completely revamp the show. There are so many parts of the original that I love and didn’t want to change.

“I’m constantly getting hit up by fans asking me to add this song or that song, so I thought it would be a good idea after two years to give everyone a little something different.

“I’m definitely excited about it. I’ve added a few fan-favorite songs, changed up the intro and had fabulous new costumes designed for each act. I also put together an amazing dance break to three of my favorite Missy Elliot songs. It’s been a long process, maybe three months or so.”

I noted her full-force, top-form onslaught to her manager Larry Rudolph, who told me: “She’s never sounded better, moved better or looked better. She’s reinvigorated. She’s so excited, and she has all these new, sexy costumes and choreography.

“She’s on top of the world. A good 40 percent of the show has completely changed. This wasn’t change for change’s sake. But the show had been the same for two years, so it was time for some change. It’s a good thing, as it keeps Britney and the audience charged up,” Totally charged!

Talk about two ends of the spectrum: Pop star Avril Lavigne, another of Larry’s clients, was there for the two sold-out weekend shows, and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s staffers joined in the revelry. Earlier last week, Britney and Hillary met in the latter’s suite at Caesars Palace.

Britney, the 34-year-old mother of two sons, is still at the top in our Strip of headliners that includes Celine, Mariah, J.Lo, the returning Pitbull and the upcoming Lionel Richie. I describe Britney too often as pop princess because I love alliteration, but she truly is the queen with her refreshed “Piece of Me.”

Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at

Follow Las Vegas Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at

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