Music Article

World on a String

Celine Dion's Vegas act takes off -- literally. She launches her three-year extravaganza, including 20 songs, 48 dancers, and Cirque du Soleil-style acrobatics

One down, 599 to go. Celine Dion's Las Vegas extravaganza ''A New Day...'' kicked off Tuesday night with only one minor hitch, a good sign for  the chest-thumping diva's planned three-year run at Caesar's Palace and its 4,100-seat Colosseum built especially for her.''

''I compare the show tonight to the opening in 1969 of Elvis at the Hilton,'' Dion's husband/manager, Rene Angelil, told Reuters. Indeed, Elvis comparisons were probably inevitable, given the show's Vegas venue and its excess -- at least 48 dancers, a 110-foot-by-33-foot LED screen as a backdrop, ticket prices ranging from $87.50 to $200. But not even Elvis flew through the air, as Dion did, using a wire harness engineered by former Cirque du Soleil designer Franco Dragone, who created ''A New Day'''s visuals. Tuesday's opening coincided with the release of Dion's latest album, ''One Heart.''

The lone hitch: While Dion was airborne, someone stole her shoes. According to Reuters, she padded about barefoot until a stagehand brought her another pair. Dion has a three-year contract to perform 200 nights a year, 20 songs a night (ranging from her own hits to Vegas-y numbers like Peggy Lee's ''Fever'' and Frank Sinatra's ''I've Got the World on a String''), for which she will reportedly earn $100 million, plus 50 percent of the profits. Let's hope Caesar's Palace either increases security or buys her another 599 pairs of shoes.

Originally posted Mar 26, 2003