Celine Dion Does a Strip Tease

Mystery and hype surround the latest Vegas spectacle starring sultry crooner

By: Kathy Espin

LAS VEGAS If it lives up to its hype, “A New Day” starring Celine Dion, opening March 25 at Caesar’s Palace, will be the biggest thing to hit the Strip since Elvis Presley. That’s a big if. The hype surrounding the show is hip deep.

“A New Day” is being produced by Franco Dragone, one of the creative minds behind the popular Cirque du Soleil productions cropping up all over Las Vegas.

It will be seen in the new 4,000-seat Colosseum that Park Place Entertainment is building especially for Dion at a price tag of $95 million.

The theater is huge by Las Vegas showroom standards, but has been designed so that no seat is more than 120 feet from the stage, according to designer Patrick Berge of Sceno Plus.

Dion will be the centerpiece of a cast of 60 in a multi-media production that “fuses song, performance art, theatrical innovation and state-of-the-art technology,” according to a Caesar’s press release.

In an unprecedented move, Caesar’s made tickets available to the public last May. So far, according to Michael Coldwell, public relations director for Park Place Entertainment, 90 percent of the 240,000 tickets available for the first three months have been sold.

“And we have yet to benefit from the word-of-mouth that this show will no-doubt generate once people actually get to see it,” Coldwell said.

Tickets are priced at $87.50, $127.50, $150 and $200 each. In spite of the large number of reported sales, tickets are still available through Ticketmaster.

In another unusual move, international tour and travel packages are available through three international agencies. The Newmarket Group in the United Kingdom, Gilbert Coullier in France and Artistours in Quebec have reportedly sold more than 6,000 travel packages including room, airfare and show tickets.

For domestic travelers, Caesar’s Palace is booking special room and show packages ranging in price from $849 to $1,650, Coldwell said. The packages include two or three night accommodations, two tickets to “A New Day,” and other amenities such as meals, spa admissions and limo services.

Details on the show are, well, hyperbolic. Even after a sneak preview of rehearsals in La Louviere, Belgium, more hype than facts emerged.

“I see Celine as a satellite who captures images,” Dragone said. “She will use the stage to create her own universe and share it intimately with the audience. ‘A New Day’ will expose Celine’s immense talent in a new art form.” Dion described her own vision of the show.

“I see a heartbeat in the fire of the desert, a soft but powerful feeling in the center of Las Vegas, the city of lights and passions,” she said. The one solid detail about the show that has come to light is that Dion has said Dragone is trying to make her fly in the show.

Show tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com or www.celinedion.com. Room and show packages through Caesar’s are available by calling 800-933-7110. The packages are not available online at this time, but soon will be, according to Coldwell. Watch www.parkplace.com for more information.