Wednesday, June 26, 2013 | 3:36 p.m.
New Strip headliner Veronic is a pint-sized powerhouse of extraordinary talent and unstoppable energy. She darts across the stage faster than an Olympic sprinter. She’s a combination of lightning force and thunderbolt vigor.
In fact, her magnetic personality and commanding presence lights up the “Jubilee!” stage at Bally’s more than all the neon wattage out front of our casino hotels. I haven’t seen anybody under the spotlight with such high-powered charismatic charm in more than a decade.
Simply put, she’s sensational. If Danny Gans was the king of variety voices imitating the stars, then Veronic is the princess of impersonation. Talk about “ A Star Is Born” on the Strip with her dead-on, uncanny 50 superstar singer impressions.
From the minute she jumps onstage, Veronic doesn’t stop. She sings, dances, high kicks, leaps, plays piano, changes wardrobes — and all at incredibly high speed. There’s no gasping for breath or perspiring under the lights. She also makes it all look effortless.
On my way to meet her in her dressing room backstage, I wondered out loud if she plugged her fingers directly into a wall socket to get a full-on mega-watt charge. She’s filled with electricity. Her secret: bottles of coconut water mixed with pineapple juice. It’s highly combustible in her case and propels her nonstop for 80 minutes all over the stage.
My own impressions were garnered at her early preview, but I’m betting at Friday’s night official opening with co-producers Celine and manager hubby Rene Angelil on hand with their first production show, Veronic will be even more magnificently mobile.
She is spellbinding. You can close your eyes and believe you are hearing the actual star, be it Anita Baker, Whitney Houston, Karen Carpenter, Cher, Susan Boyle, Adele, Christina Aguilera, Sheryl Crow, Tina Turner and Celine herself. There’s everybody from Mariah Carey to Dolly Parton to Shania Twain to Katy Perry and Billie Holiday, in all 55 of the best female singers in music history. It’s an unequalled repertoire.
Reaction from my preview audience was incredible: whistling, thunderous applause, cheering and a long ovation. Contributing photographer Tom Donoghue reported the same phenomenon when he shot his photo gallery another night. Her talent is unique as the only female tribute artist of her kind.
The word, buzz and growing excitement has hotel executives and AEG already whispering that the Aug. 31 end date will be extended to year’s end, and that’s before Friday’s official celebration with Celine and Rene on the red carpet and at the media party afterward.
All this happy hullabaloo for an unknown entertainer in America? So far she’s had only one national TV exposure with Katie Couric. But it’s easy to understand why she has sold out her concerts in Europe the past two years after being Celine’s opening act in the “Taking Chances” world tour.
Her background story of how she went from musical actress to an opening-act impersonator for Celine can be found in my interview with Veronic that we posted June 19.
“Music is my life,” said Veronic. “There are so many phenomenal singers in the world. Being able to pay homage to them by bringing their sounds to audiences has always been a dream of mine, and I am so excited to be living that dream here in Las Vegas.”
The show is action-packed with six backup dancers, glorious images on five state-of-the-art video screens and Veronic’s piano solos. The comedy segment in Dolly’s voice shows her country western skills. Her Queen of Pop make-believe TV show is filled with mind-blowing accuracy — and diva disco delights.
Veronic’s platinum powered voice as Aretha Franklin and Whitney at the end of the show sent goose bumps up and down my spine. Some in the audience were in tears and grasping their partner’s hands for support.
Don’t take my word for any of this. You have to see it, hear it and feel it for yourself. It is a remarkable and phenomenal experience.
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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