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‘It’s the dream.’ Celine Dion fighting to return to stage

Updated April 23, 2024 - 7:47 pm

Celine Dion has objectives as she battles Stiff Person Syndrome.

“I want to be the best I can be, ” Dion says in an interview in the new edition of Vogue France. “My goal is to see the Eiffel Tower again!”

A return to live performance, someday, is also motivating the superstar resident of Lake Las Vegas. But while Dion is steadfast in her dedication to recover from the rare neurological condition, she’s less certain of when she will be able to return to the stage.

”I can’t answer that … Because for four years I’ve been saying to myself that I’m not going back, that I’m ready, that I’m not ready… ” Dion says in the Q&A piece. “As things stand, I can’t stand here and say to you: ‘Yes, in four months.’ I don’t know… My body will tell me.”

Dion says she has not beaten the disease.

“It’s still within me and always will be. I hope that we’ll find a miracle, a way to cure it with scientific research, but for now I have to learn to live with it,” the 55-year-old superstar says. “… Five days a week I undergo athletic, physical and vocal therapy. I work on my toes, my knees, my calves, my fingers, my singing, my voice …

“I have to learn to live with it now and stop questioning myself. At the beginning I would ask myself: Why me? How did this happen? What have I done? Is this my fault?”

Dion says it’s difficult physically and mentally to combat the condition, for which there is no cure.

”I don’t just want to wait. It’s morally hard to live from day to day. It’s hard, I’m working very hard and tomorrow will be even harder,” she says. “Tomorrow is another day. But there’s one thing that will never stop, and that’s the will. It’s the passion. It’s the dream. It’s the determination.”

Representatives for AEG Presents, which books and co-produces all shows at Resorts World Theater, have not replied to requests for comment about Dion’s status. Officials have only said they remain optimistic she will perform again on the Strip.

Dion announced she suffered from SPS in December 2022, halting her plans at Resorts World and also her “Courage” world tour. Recently she has made several public appearances, announcing Taylor Swift as the Grammy Award-winner for Album of the Year on Feb. 4 in Los Angeles, and attending a Boston Bruins-New York Rangers game at TD Bank Garden on March 21.

This has led to speculation, conversation and optimism she can return to performance at Resorts World Theatre even by the end of this year.

But Dion is not committing to that, or any, time horizon.

“The way I see it, I have two choices. Either I train like an athlete and work super hard, or I switch off and it’s over, I stay at home, listen to my songs, stand in front of my mirror and sing to myself,” the sidelined headliner says.”I’ve chosen to work with all my body and soul, from head to toe, with a medical team. I want to be the best I can be.”

Celine’s real residency

Dion explained why she lives in Las Vegas. She says she got a home here when her oldest son, Rene-Charles, was age 1. “Twenty-two years ago today,” as Dion said, indicting the Vogue interview was Jan. 25.

Dion explained she originally owned a house in Florida, which she never visited. She had a house in Montréal, but during the holiday breaks the kids wanted to go to the beach. She bought the house in Lake Las Vegas in January 2001.

“I am 35 minutes away from work. That gives me the time to get ready to go to work. I can see my team, we joke around with each other, we rehearse singing … ” Dion said. “And then that gives me the chance to get on the road. I eat in the car, I get home, I see my children, and I can sleep in my own bed. I have the best of both worlds.”

Home slice

“Everybody knows we love old things,” says Angie Pontani. The burlesque star is speaking for herself and her band-leading husband, Brian Newman, of Lady Gaga’s orchestra and “After Dark” at NoMad Library. The couple’s home in Southeast Brooklyn, described as a hand-me-down-house, is featured in the current issue of New York Magazine.

An ottoman from the ’40s, chandelier from the ’50s, and, “There’s also great-grandpa Paul’s office chair from his restaurant, Casa Lido in Trenton.” As she pronounces it, “Tren-tin.” Fun story, fun family, and back on stage on the Strip in June.

Cool Hang Alert

“Ride The Cyclone,” is the latest wild ride at Majestic Repertory Theatre in the Arts District. The musical is extended through June 8 (go to tickettailor.com for intel and to book). The plot: Six teenage chamber-choir singers are thrown into Limbo after a freak accident. The sextet encounter a mechanical fortune teller, who offers them the chance to sing their way back to reality. Only one will make it. The show sold out its first weekend and merit’s a look-see, and even singalong.

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 X, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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