There’s something undeniable about the thrill and glamour of Las Vegas. Despite the city’s sometimes gritty reputation, there’s still something amazing about going to a world class casino, sipping elegant cocktails and finishing off the evening by… watching a woman in her 60’s gyrate half naked on stage while surrounded by backing dancers young enough to be her grandchildren.
From 2008 until 2011, the hot entertainment ticket in Sin City was Cher who performed a three-year engagement at Caesars Palace. While there might have been an appeal for a performer to spend an extended period of time performing without the demands of actually touring, what makes a world-class artist want to take up a residency in Las Vegas? Let’s look at some of the biggest and the best.
Elton John, The Red Piano Show
Cher wasn’t the first big name to make a three year home at Caesars Palace, since Reginald Dwight (that’s Sir Elton John to me and you), was one of the first modern acts to sign a multi million dollar deal to perform his The Red Piano show, which ran for five years from 2004, and brought in more than $160 million in ticket sales. Elton John seemingly enjoyed his time in Vegas so much that he went back for another three years, starting in 2011. Perhaps the artists enjoy the relaxed schedule of a Vegas contract, since during his original residency Elton John only performed every second night. If you happened to be there on one of his nights off, then not to sorry, since you would have been able to see another performer who has also sold a few albums…
Céline Dion, A New Day Show
Perhaps the most famous French Canadian in the world, Céline Dion alternated her A New Day show with John’s The Red Piano, although she started before him and ended up staying in Vegas for five years, ultimately grossing ticket sales north of $400 million. Like Elton John, Céline Dion also returned to Vegas, and was back on stage at Caesars Palace in 2011, reportedly with plans to stay there until 2019. My heart will go on… and so will the ticket sales.
Another Canadian who has made a home in Vegas is country crossover superstar Shania Twain. While she’s still extremely well known with a loyal fan base, Ms Twain perhaps doesn’t have as popular a back catalogue of songs as Elton John or Céline Dion, but even so, her Shania: Still the One show has just grossed slightly over $18 million in its first seven months. The show is scheduled to conclude at the end of 2014, but perhaps like her fellow Caesars Palace performers, Ms Twain will return after a break of a few years.
Cher basically dresses like a Vegas showgirl, so her three year term at the mammoth Colosseum show at Caesars Palace seemed like a good fit, with the performer changing costumes up to 15 times during the show. Cher showed she still had it, dancing up a storm on stage each and every night, really earning the $180 million she received for the three-year contract.
While all the performers who grace the stage at Caesars Palace are global superstars, their fan base tends to skew older, which is perhaps representative of the fact that only fans who are at a more financially stable point in their lives can afford the often hefty ticket prices. There are often whispers of a megastar who is considering a long term stay in Vegas, and Britney Spears is hotly tipped to be taking up a residence at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas, and multiple award winner Adele is also apparently planning a long stay in sin city. Perhaps in some years we’ll be able to see another virtual showgirl, Lady Gaga take to the Vegas stage?