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Carrie Underwood’s Resorts World debut runs along with NFR

Updated May 12, 2021 - 4:52 pm

Carrie Underwood headlining alongside the National Finals Rodeo is a concept we couldn’t have entertained in Las Vegas a year ago. But it is a real thing this year.

Underwood’s premiere at The Theatre at Resorts World runs Dec. 1, 3-4, 8, and 10-11. The NFR, sure to draw thousands of Underwood fans, runs Dec. 2-11 at Thomas & Mack Center.

Resorts World President Scott Sibella said Wednesday morning Underwood “fits perfectly with the rodeo crowd at that time.”

Timing of Underwood’s dates were fortuitious, and intentional.

“It sure was purposefully booked around NFR,” AEG Presents Senior Vice President Bobby Reynolds said via e-mail Wednesday. “We know that the thousands of people that come to Las Vegas for NFR love Carrie Underwood, and we knew this would be the perfect time to launch her Las Vegas residency.”

Las Vegas Events President Pat Christenson’s organization books the rodeo and peripheral events in the NFR Experience, including concerts, viewing parties and the Cowboy Christmas shopping extravaganza moving into the Las Vegas Convention Center’s West Hall this year. Underwood is, of course, a marquee draw.

“NFR Experience has grown because of the continuous addition of customized entertainment and events provided by our hotel partners,” Christenson said Wednesday. “Announcements like Carrie Underwood are just the beginning of what should be many more exciting events for our fans.

“We are cautiously optimistic that more fans than ever before will make the 10 days of the 2021 NFR the biggest ever.”

Underwood has enjoyed success on tour, including a stop at MGM Grand Garden Arena in May 2019 and a show at T-Mobile Arena two years earlier.

“Touring is one of my favorite things I get to do as a performer and we’ve all really been missing that. I love being on the road and coming to the fans where they live, but it will also be fun to get to do multiple shows in one place where people will be able to come to get that concert experience and have some fun in Las Vegas at the same time,” Underwood said in a statement. “It’s such a special honor to be one of the first artists to get to perform in a brand new, beautiful, state-of-the-art theatre at such an exciting new destination as Resorts World Las Vegas.”

Underwood’s dates were released today, along with Katy Perry’s “Play” running eight shows (Dec. 29, 31, 2021 and Jan. 1, 7-8, 12, 14-15) and Luke Bryan’s “Vegas” with six scheduled (Feb. 11-12, 16, 18-20). Celine Dion’s return to the Strip launches the entire series of rotating resident headliners at Resorts World, booked for 10 shows (Nov. 5-6, 9-10, 12-13, 16-17, 19-20). Tickets are on sale 10 a.m. May 24 at AXS.com.

All the headliners’ contracts to play the hotel are long-term, Sibella said. More dates from all four superstars will be announced in 2022.

Perry referred to “Play” as “a TRIP” on her Twitter page, the word bracketed by a pair of mushrooms (red, matching Resorts Worlds’ logo). Bryan said, “We’re looking forward to putting on a unique show at The @rwtheatre!” With Bryan, unique leads to intrigue.

Resorts World’s entire collection of headliners has appeared in the now-famous “Stay Fabulous” promotional clip, filmed at the hotel. The video also features EDM superstars Tiësto and Zedd, set to headline Zouk Nightclub and Ayu Dayclub.

The Theatre seats 5,000 in a horseshoe-shaped seating plot. No seat is more than 150 feet from the stage. The venue was designed by Scéno Plus of Montreal, which conceived The Colosseum at Caesars Palace and also the venue’s renovation from 2019. Scéno also created the “Mystere” theater at Treasure Island and the “O” theater at Bellagio.

Concerts West/AEG Live is the hotel’s exclusive booking partner at the theater. The concert company also presented Dion’s two residencies at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace from 2002-2019.

‘Jab’ me

During my chat with Dion on Friday, I asked what long-standing lessons she took from the COVID shutdown. The exchange:

Celine: “That we have to be careful. That we should not take anything for granted and that humanity is something that we cannot live without.”

Kats: “Have you been jabbed? Have you been vaccinated?”

Dion: “Yes. How you say, ‘Jabbed?’”

Kats: “Jabbed.”

(Laughter.)

Dion: “I don’t know that expression.”

Kats: “The guy who did mine said, ‘Jabbed.’”

(Laughter.)

Dion: “Did you?”

Kats: “I did, and the guy who did me said, ‘Jabbed,’ when he jabbed me.

Dion: “So, they’re all like trying to be cool, right? You’re using, ‘Jabbed?’”

Kats: “I use it because the doctor did, so I don’t know …”

Dion: “Well, I’ve been, ‘Jabbed.’”

The RC EP

I mentioned to Celine I’d enjoyed her 20-year-old son RC Angelil’s EP, “Casino.5.” The hip-hop release is peppered with adult language and carries a parental-advisory warning.

“You know what? You have to let the young kids create. It might not be what I would say, for sure, what I would write, create, no, that’s for sure,” Dion said. “Do I love it? No. Do I love him? Yes. Do I support him? Yes, because I love him. It’s not my thing, it’s his thing, you know?”

The superstar continued, “He’s creating, he’s not hurting anyone and it’s his way of creativity right now through music, so I have to let him be, you know?”

Dion also asked, “Did you understand the words? ‘Cause, I did not.” I said, “I understood enough of them.”

And she responded, “Yeah, OK. Good! He’s been jabbed!”

Big-screen Celine

Dion is expanding her artistic vision to film acting. She’s cast in the movie “Text For You,” a romantic drama in which a woman who has lost her fiancé sends romantic texts to his old cell phone. The number has been taken by a man in the same town suffering from a similar tragedy. The two connect, but are still dragged down by their heartbreak. Dion’s music gives them the strength to seek love once more.

Priyanka Chopra Jonas (“Quantico”), Sam Heughan (“Outlander”), Russell Tovey (“Looking”), Steve Oram (“End of the F**king World”), Omid Djalili (“His Dark Materials”), Sofia Barclay (“Defending the Guilty”), Lydia West (“Years & Years”), Arinzé Kene (“I’m Your Woman”) and Celia Imrie (“Better Things”) co-star. Filming is to be finished this year.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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