Saturday, November 5, 2016

Review of Celine Dion at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace


Well, this may surprise some of my loyal readers, but during this month’s trip to Las Vegas I just had to go see Celine Dion’s stage show at the Colosseum inside Caesar’s Palace. Why? She is one of the most popular entertainers on the planet, and she has an amazing voice. ‘nuff said.

The Wednesday night show was pretty full, but it was easy enough to get a ticket in the first mezzanine. Unfortunately service charges for the ticket were over 30% of the ticket price. And, it was kind of a nightmare to get into the hotel and across the crowded casino floor to get to the theater, but once I got there the staff was great. There will call line moved quickly and the ushers were super nice.

The interior of the Colosseum is around the size of a typical large Broadway house, and it seemed like all of the seats had a really good line of sight. Show time was scheduled for 7:30PM, but the lights did not go out until 8:00PM. Then there was a brief video introduction of Dion’s history with Caesar’s, which goes back to 2003, and this was her 1002nd show here.

When she kicked the show off, it was nothing but Vegas spectacular. The stage was huge, and Celine had it filled up with risers and a 30-piece orchestra. She is close to 50, but here voice is amazingly strong and you can hate her all you want, but she can really sing. Of course Dion did the expected power ballads, but she can do strong jazz and scat too. I never saw that coming.

”First rate” is the only way to describe the musicians in the show. The show was broken up into blocks, so there were portions with the full orchestra, with a jazz trio, and an acoustic set. During costume changes the band would do medleys of popular tunes, and they would sit patiently as Celine yakked with the crowd. These folks were 100% professional.

During all of this there were clever uses of multiple video screens to convey a sense of history and to add to the artistic content of the stagework. The lighting was also fantastic, and the movement of the risers around the stage was neat as it provided a visual break between the sections of the show.

The content is probably about what you would expect, with a few surprises. There was a Prince tribute, where Dion covered “Kiss” and “Purple Rain,” complete with a killer solo from her guitarist. And to close out the show she did "My Heart Will Go On" (that one from the Titanic movie) and Queen’s “The Show Much Go On.” I never saw that one coming, it was quite a jaw dropper and she did a good job with it.

The show ran about 90 minutes, which seemed like just enough Celine for me. As an added bonus, the show got out just in time to watch the last out of the World Series on the big screens at Caesar’s sports book. Congratulations Cubs!

If you are ever in Sin City, I have to recommend that you see Celine’s show, even if you cannot stand her. She has an amazing voice, the musicians are incredible, the lighting and sets are to die for, and it is pure Vegas. Trust me!


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