Tuesday, July 2, 2013 | 12:26 p.m.
Insurance bonding, legal paperwork and financial budgeting for Britney Spears’ new Planet Hollywood residency show is being finalized over the next 10 days, and Caesars Entertainment officials now expect to make the official announcements mid-month.
“The deal with Britney and her representatives is all set, but the delays have been with all the legal and accounting people we have to work with on our end,” one of the Caesars execs told me. “Britney and her people have been wonderful to work with. She’s been very patient, and now she’s ready and raring to go.”
Another top exec confirmed to me: “We honestly hope now to see her two-year residency run start in the week leading up to New Year’s, but if the refurbishing of the theater slips behind schedule and its budgeted numbers, which is out of our control, it will still definitely start early in the first quarter of next year.”
Britney’s shows will be performed at PH Live, formerly the Theater for the Performing Arts. One knowledgeable insider told me that New York’s Base Entertainment had a long, multiyear lease to operate the 7,500-seat auditorium, but Caesars has bought it back to run it with a new show-production division.
“Lawyer negotiations on that buyout ran longer than expected. Then budget planning for the refurbishing and Britney’s show tech needs also ran longer than anticipated,” I was told. “It takes a year to put together a show like this with concept creation, cast and crew hirings, rehearsals, and then all the upgraded audio, video and lighting requirements we need to install.”
Britney is reportedly ready to start on the show. “She hasn’t let the delay affect her keep-fit workout routines, and she’s been dancing with possible choreographers,” one member of her production team told me.
Top Caesars execs tell me the final paperwork on all of the necessary insurance, legal and accounting matters will now be wrapped up in two weeks, and then with the official green-light go, full details can be announced. Britney will then fly here for the kick-off celebration to reveal dates and ticket sales.
I also have learned that Britney’s team has already had discussions with several Hollywood directors about the show concept, and one will get onboard for the big Las Vegas announcement.
There are already rumors that Jamie King, who has won raves for his two Cirque du Soleil “Michael Jackson” productions, might be the perfect candidate. He knows the Las Vegas entertainment scene inside out and also directed Britney’s 2009 “Circus” World tour and her 2011 “Femme Fatale” World Tour, in addition to other tours for Caesars Palace headliner Celine Dion, Madonna, Rihanna, Christina Aguilera, Ricky Martin and Avril Lavigne.
“None of the delays had anything to do with Britney. It was all the accounting requirements on our end. We’re confident now that’s been put to bed, and we’re looking forward to starting the creative process with her shortly. She’s going to be a big hit and a big win for the Strip,” I was told.
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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