There’s no question that pop princess Britney Spears changed the pop-music dynamic on the Strip with her “Britney: Piece of Me” resident show at Axis at Planet Hollywood. It’s been a blockbuster success since its Dec. 27, 2013, premiere.
Fans have flocked to the show, and before its second anniversary, Britney extended her contract two years through 2017. Her residency single-handedly triggered additional pop shows, with Jennifer Lopez and the upcoming Lionel Richie at Axis, along with Mariah Carey at Caesars Palace and Rascal Flatts at the Hard Rock hotel. Many more are to come, I’m told!
Fans, other superstars, Caesars Entertainment execs and critics have raved about Britney’s spectacular with its staging, artistic effects and her adventurous onstage stunts of flying like an angel and swinging out over the audience from a jungle tree, plus the razzle-dazzle dance routines. My review was posted Dec. 28, 2013.
Britney has made herself a valuable member of our community and in October donated $120,000 to Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation in her partnership with the organization. We’ll be back Monday with a report on the new look that Britney has given “Britney: Piece of Me” that she began working on in December. Meantime, she answered questions via email for Vegas DeLuxe:
Are you excited for the new look to “Piece of Me”? Tell me what we should expect.
Definitely excited! I’ve added a few fan-favorite songs into the show, changed up the intro and had fabulous new costumes designed for each act. I also put together an amazing dance break to three of my favorite Missy Elliot songs. And we have lasers now. I love the look of the lasers.
Why did you want to change it up, and what’s it like working with Baz Halpin?
I’m constantly getting hit up by fans asking me to add this song or that song, and I thought it would be a great idea after two years to give everyone a little something different. I love working with Baz Halpin — he really listens to me and understands how to make my vision come to life.
How long did it take to give it the new look from thoughts on paper to working out the routines and onto rehearsals?
The intention wasn’t to completely revamp the show — there are so many parts of the original show that I love and didn’t want to change — but it’s still a long process, maybe three months or so. Starting with concepts and ideas to creative meetings about the setlist and new visuals, getting new mixes of music, creating choreography, then going into weeks of dance rehearsals and finally putting all of the production together. It’s a lot of moving parts. It makes me tired just thinking about it all! LOL.
What music are you happy with that’s now in the new-look show?
I’ve always loved my song “Breathe on Me,” so I’m excited that I get to perform it in the show now. It has a very sexy vibe.
What should fans look for specifically?
We have some fun new choreography that I think fans are going to enjoy dancing along to in the show.
It’s Valentine’s Day this launch weekend. What are you doing specially in the show for Valentine’s Day lovers? Just giving them all a “Piece of Me.” :) Will you celebrate Valentine’s Day in any special way?
My boys will be with me in Las Vegas on Valentine’s Day, and they’re the loves of my life!
What have you enjoyed with the Las Vegas run so far, and what are you looking forward to now with the changes?
I really love Las Vegas. It’s like a second home to me. I’m looking forward to spending two more years here.
Are you happy with the decision to cut back a little on touring and stay in a resident Las Vegas show?
Definitely! I love doing my show in one place, plus it’s been great because I can have my boys out with me a lot of the time. But, sometimes I do get that itch to travel and tour again. It’s in my blood.
Fans tell me they are going crazy wanting a new record. What’s the status?
You’ll be hearing something new from me soon … very soon.
During upcoming breaks from the Las Vegas show, will you be able to plug in any overseas tour dates? If not, will you be able to tour again after this new two-year Las Vegas deal ends, or do you want to stay on in Las Vegas because you’re loving it here?
I hope we can do some touring! It’ll be fun to see my fans from overseas who haven’t been able to make it out to Las Vegas. * * *
Britney begins her new run of shows Saturday. She has a Valentine’s Day show Sunday and continues from Feb. 17-27 and returns from April 6-22.
Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Las Vegas Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.