Wednesday, March 9, 2011 | 5 p.m.
And so it was foretold that the second coming of Celine would bring with it a Rapture-in-reverse. Lo, the prophets have spoken that when the singer ascends the stage at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace on Tuesday, the vanished multitudes will return to Las Vegas, the waters of Lake Mead will be replenished, and a new Dion-ysian era of peace and plenty will begin.
Dion has been gone for three years, 29 days and 17 hours (but who’s counting?), and, as the Toronto Sun recently pointed out, when she left town after an unprecedented five-year run, the economy went with her (along with husband René Angélil’s poker losses).
So you can hardly blame Vegas for praying Dion’s return is an omen of resurrection. That’s a lot of weight to place on one diva’s bony shoulders. But Dion’s booking of 70 dates a year for three years—close to a million tickets—has already meant the addition of hundreds of jobs, including an orchestra of 30-plus union musicians and singers.
Dion’s Cirque-staged A New Day—created by Cirque du Soleil producer Franco Dragone—turned the 4,000-seat purpose-built saloon into the Palace of Excess. So how is she ever going to top that international—if not intergalactic—must-see? Especially now that Lady Gaga has rendered spectacle moot with her blood, bikinis and bonfire piano.
- Begins March 15, $55-$250. Colosseum at Caesars Palace, 877-423-5463.
Probably by reversing course and going intimate. Intimate on a massive scale, that is. Look for longtime director Ken Ehrlich to give Dion’s act a complete Cirque-ectomy, with fewer extraneous elements, keeping the focus squarely on the star. The point: “Keep your eyes on me,” as Dion sang on her last studio album. The model: what Garth Brooks did at the Wynn, with a string section instead of a guitar.
The singer recently delivered twin sons, which means she’ll be sitting down a lot more than last time. She sang Billy Joel’s “Lullabye” last month on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and you can bet she’ll sing it here, too. Expect beaucoup baby pictures on the inevitable gigantic video screen.