Updated October 20, 2021 - 2:57 pm
Celine Dion’s residency at The Theater at Resorts World continues to forge ahead, even if the star cannot. Equipment cases with the Celine brand have been hauled into the hotel. Her backing band and singers are performing inside the new venue. The sound and lighting are being designed Dion’s first performance in Las Vegas since she closed at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in June 2019.
All that is missing is the headliner.
Dion’s residency is now in a state of flux, as the superstar announced Tuesday she is delaying her opening because of medical reasons.
“Celine has been experiencing severe and persistent muscle spasms which are preventing her from performing,” a news release early Tuesday stated. “Her medical team continues to evaluate and treat her. However, the symptoms she is experiencing are prohibiting her from participating in the ongoing rehearsals for the new show.”
Dion’s residency is now on indefinite hold. She has no onsale shows currently at Resorts World. She had been announced to continue on from Jan. 19-Feb. 22. The first 11 dates, from Jan. 19-Feb. 5, had already been previously announced as an extension of Dion’s residency at the hotel. She is set to begin her oft-delayed world tour March 9 in Denver.
Carrie Underwood is set to be the first headliner to perform in the Theater, opening the venue Dec. 1-Dec. 11. Katy Perry follows, from Dec. 29-Jan. 15. Then it’s Luke Bryan, from Feb. 11-Feb. 26.
I’m heartbroken by this. My team and I have been working on our new show for the past eight months, and to not be able to open this November saddens me beyond words. Now, I have to focus on getting better… I want to get through this as soon as I can. – Celine xx… pic.twitter.com/cEDLQt9HDg
— Celine Dion (@celinedion) October 19, 2021
“I’m heartbroken by this,” Dion said. “My team and I have been working on our new show for the past eight months, and to not be able to open this November saddens me beyond words. My partners at Resorts World Las Vegas and AEG have been working around the clock to get this brand-new state-of-the-art theatre ready, and it’s absolutely beautiful. I feel so bad that I’m letting them down, and I’m especially sorry for disappointing all the fans who’ve been making their plans to come to Las Vegas. Now, I have to focus on getting better. … I want to get through this as soon as I can.”
Representatives for the long-running Strip headliner said Tuesday they had no further information about her health. The show had been loading in for the past three weeks. Dion was reportedly scheduled to begin rehearsing this week before Tuesday’s announcement halted those plans. She had been in the showroom, and also played a vital role in designing the show.
Resorts World President Scott Sibella said Tuesday morning, “She has been a great partner. Her health is what’s important right now. We look forward to her performing in 2022.”
Tickets purchased with a credit card through authorized ticketing outlets at axs.com or Resorts World Las Vegas will be refunded automatically to the credit card used for purchase, according to the release. Purchasers should allow up to 30 days for processing the refund, it said.
For tickets purchased through nonauthorized sellers, reach out to the original point of purchase for more information.
Ticket holders of the canceled Las Vegas performances will receive a pre-sale opportunity for first access to purchase tickets for newly scheduled show dates when they are announced. For future Las Vegas performance dates and updates, visit rwlasvegas.com or celinedion.com.
Dion’s “Courage World Tour” is still scheduled to resume beginning March 9 . For tour updates visit celinedion.com.
Dion had headlined two residencies at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace over 16 years before closing in June 2019. She performed 1,141 shows for 4.5 million fans at Caesars.
She said when her residency was announced in May that she was planning a personal, storytelling production.
“We’re going to have personal content in the show. I hope I’m not wrong, but that’s my feeling, is that they want what I share with them. I am like an open book, for example, sharing my happy moments, and my sad moments and my struggles.”
AEG Presents Senior Vice President John Nelson, along with AEG Presents Las Vegas Senior Vice President Bobby Reynolds, led us on a tour of the venue on Tuesday afternoon.
This first look at the venue had been scheduled before Dion’s announcement Tuesday morning, so it was an arduous 24 hours for the AEG and Resorts Worlds teams. But the Scéno Plus-designed place is as advertised, regal and comfortable, with a vast LED screen behind the performers, and a pair of projection/LED screens flanking the stage.
The sight lines are clean. No seat is further from the stage than 150 feet. Bummer we couldn’t get a listen to that killer sound system everyone’s been raving about, with its 265 L-Acoustics speakers driven by L-ISA hyperreal technology. Would love to know what those fancy terms actually sound like.
The seats are in a fixed position for all of the four announced headliners, but can be removed for standing-GA. The general amenities (the headliners’ dressing room, the green room, VIP room, and band/singers rooms) are first rate. There is a lift beneath the stage capable of raising as many as four vehicles, in case you want to stage an auto show. Reynolds noted the room is versatile enough to stage comic headliners, and certainly could handle and touring concert or production show. There are no plans for sporting events (there are enough venues that can better present UFC and championship boxing cards).
Especially intriguing, from here, is the idea of an “empty nest” or preview show by a Las Vegas band. That is in the realm of possibilities. I have a list, if need be, and I’ve been in the room. Let’s talk.
Cool Hang Alert
Vegas faves Colin Cahill and Mackenzie Fly perform “Live Is Beautiful” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at The Space, the latest installment of the venue’s “Wine Wednesdays” series. Cahill says of the husband-wife show, “It’s our first time doing something like this in town, so it’s sure to be a huge success or complete disaster. But either way, entertaining.” We predict the latter. Plunk down $25 to find out.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.