What an old-school way to promote two of Las Vegas’ top-shelf headliners: new music.
Celine Dion and Elton John routinely fill the 4,300 seats at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace based on their body of work and reputations as live entertainers. Still, anything that continues to define them in the present tense can only be good for them and the keepers of the Colosseum.
Dion, 45, on Tuesday delivered “Loved Me Back to Life,” the first single from the album of the same name, which arrives in full Nov. 5. Her Colosseum audiences got a live preview of the song over Labor Day weekend. A sanctioned video from the Colosseum may turn up on YouTube (where you can probably find shaky phone versions already).
Alas, Dion won’t be back to sing it there again until New Year’s weekend; her Colosseum dates are booked during breaks in her son’s school schedule. However, she will sing the new tune on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on Friday and on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Wednesday.
John, 66, is set to be onstage at Caesars Palace when “The Diving Board,” his 30th album, arrives Sept. 24; it will be the fourth show of his next Colosseum run starting Sept. 18. Videos for two of the songs, the single “Home Again” and “Mexican Vacation (Kids in the Candlelight)” are bouncing around the Internet.
The two albums seem quite different in tone for the two friends and Colosseum roommates. Dion’s album cover makes her look at least as young as her “A New Day Has Come” album of 11 years ago, a clue that she’s out to compete in the contemporary pop arena. The single is the kind of song you hear by pop divas of half her age and vocal range, and the full disc includes a duet with Las Vegas Academy alumn Ne-Yo.
But other songs on the track listing reveal Dion’s Colosseum show is well-represented, with covers of Billy Joel’s “Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel),” Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed,” Janis Ian’s “At Seventeen” and the modern standard “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?”.
By contrast, John isn’t even guaranteed to add anything from “The Diving Board.” In the past, he squeezed in maybe a song or two from his releases of the 2000s. But the new songs sure seem like they would fit right in. They recall the piano-centric, timeless sound of early ’70s albums such as “Madman Across the Water,” which has been heavily represented in the Colosseum shows of late.
Like most of his output in the new century, John seems to have resigned himself to making good music instead of worrying about who will buy it. In case he needs rent money, his partner, David Furnish, is opening a “champagne lounge” called FIZZ between the Colosseum and the Forum Shops. …
Donny Osmond took back his half of the Flamingo stage again Tuesday, for his first show with sister Marie since July surgery for a torn muscle in his buttock. He will be more stationary than usual as he continues to mend. The location of the injury, however painful, at least is good cannon fodder for his sharp-tongued sis.
Brother Merrill Osmond and John Schneider stepped in for Donny during the summer. …
If you saw Jason Sudeikis perform with the Second City comedy troupe at the Flamingo in the early 2000s, you may not even remember it. He wasn’t famous yet.
That’s one reason why improv comedy has never kept up with the stand-up explosion on the Strip. Wayne Brady and Drew Carey are able to bring the “game” format to town because they are already well-known, even if the improvised comedy format is downplayed in Brady’s advertisements.
When it comes to unknown comedians making stuff up, there seems to be an inherent skepticism that’s relegated improv to the locals market in off-Strip venues since Second City threw in the towel in 2008.
But Nicolas “Kopy” Kopatich is giving it at least a modest try. After running “Jest Serendipity” at Alexis Park for 12 years, he has launched “Party Improv” inside the Cabo Wabo Cantina in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort. It’s presented by Anthony Cools, who performs his hypnotism next door at Paris Las Vegas.
Last year, Cools and Kopatich tested a format that combined improv with strip poker, with dancers losing articles of clothing as the evening progressed. “It was an OK experiment, but that’s kind of the way we looked at it,” Kopatich says.
This time, they decided the stripping element was unnecessary. This one is “a lot cleaner,” Kopatich says, expanding the potential audience.
The show sticks with the game format, with the four to six performers acting upon audience input. “We don’t do anything for self-satisfaction,” he says, and at the end of a show “we’ve sweated through our shirts. We put it all out there for you.” …
Next door at Planet Hollywood Resort, producer David King says he is on track to open “Dancing Queen” Sept. 12 in the theater where “Peepshow” closed last weekend. The British producer was flying to Las Vegas on Wednesday to put the finishing touches on the ’70s revue with 20 performers, expanding a cabaret show he had to close at New York-New York when the hotel reclaimed the venue.
“The show has been redesigned to be one big party,” King says by email. “There really is no other show in Vegas with this amount of energy.” …
Venerable Las Vegas TV host and showman Tony Sacca is burning a few calories himself these days. He performs his variety show Saturday at Aliante Casino, then on Sept. 13 launches his “Las Vegas Rocks” TV show every Friday afternoon in the Railhead at Boulder Station. The new talk-show format tapes in live time, and replaces the TV show that edited together interviews done in various locations.
Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at email@example.com or at 702-383-0288.