LAS VEGAS – Britney Spears has begun her early retirement in Las Vegas with a show that looks strikingly like the eye-popping Cirque du Soleil productions found elsewhere on the Strip.
The debut of Spears’ long-term casino gig Friday kept an audience of about 4,500 on their feet for about 90 minutes.
The young-for-Vegas crowd was there for the danceable hits and the spectacle, which included acrobatics, a ring of fire, confetti, a live band, frenetic costume changes and a frequently airborne Spears.
The show’s production values are unusually high for a casino residency, calling to mind the golden age of music videos. Its high-concept set pieces featured a cadre of backup dancers who danced in human-sized hamster wheels and somersaulted over the Grammy-winning star.
Spears, 32, has signed on to perform 50 shows each in 2014 and 2015 at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino.
She cuts a different figure from the typical Strip headliner. Other successful Las Vegas acts – including Shania Twain, Elton John and Celine Dion – have generally attracted an older audience. Judging from Friday’s show, her fans are more likely to be found at a casino megaclub than in front of a slot machine.
Speculation abounded ahead of the show that Spears would not be singing live, a claim that officials with Planet Hollywood parent company Caesars Entertainment Corp. denied.
– Associated Press