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Spears’ Vegas debut flaunts Cirque flair

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

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