Let’s get the party started
Queen of country pop SHANIA TWAIN returns to Vegas for her ‘Let’s Go’ residencyLuxury Las Vegas
Shania Twain is not using the power of her horses in her upcoming production at Zappos Theater. But the country superstar promises plenty of horsepower.
“I won’t use horses, but I will have fans onstage,” Twain says as she preps for her “Let’s Go” residency. “It will be sort of a stadium show, with epic elements. It’s a total, rock-out show.”
Gone are signature moments from her previous residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, where Twain went face-to-face with her equine partner for “Still The One” and the campfire scene where audience members milled around on fake rock.
“It’s all going to be about lights, graphics and a party vibe,” Twain says. “There are a lot of elements that you’ve never seen in that room before.”
Twain selected the Planet Hollywood venue specifically as a place to get loose. She was spotted in the venue at Gwen Stefani’s “Just a Girl” production in the weeks leading up to her “Let’s Go” series, which opens Dec. 6, and runs for 23 shows through June.
In April, Twain hinted broadly at a run at Zappos Theater at the annual Keep Memory Alive “Power of Love” gala with former Zappos Theater resident headliner and close friend Lionel Richie at her side. She has been a frequent fan of Strip productions, taking in Celine Dion’s finale at the Colosseum in June and also dropping in on Wayne Newton at Cleopatra’s Barge. But the Zappos room, where Britney Spears, Pitbull, Backstreet Boys, Jennifer Lopez and Stefani have delivered stand-and-dance productions, was her handpicked theater.
“I’ve seen a lot of shows there over the years, and I thought it would really be fun as an interactive room for me,” Twain says. “After being on the road for a while, I just wanted to be in that atmosphere. It really appeals to me as a fan, as a visitor to shows, and I know what it feels like to enjoy my champagne and really have fun.”
Twain has rumbled onto the scene in her Colosseum performances, donning a glimmering bodysuit and taking the stage on a motorcycle.
“I might be a little uncontrollable, but I’m a lot of fun, too,” she says
Twain certainly boasts artistic and commercial merit, and also an extensive run on the Strip at Caesars, where she performed 105 shows from December 2012 through December 2014. Her recording resume is loaded with achievements including five Grammy Awards and U.S. album sales topping 34.5 million. “Any Man of Mine,” “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” “You’re Still the One” and “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!” are veritable classics in country-music culture. Her 2017 album, “Now” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts, and led to her aforementioned, sold-out world tour.
Along this path, Twain has weathered a messy divorce from her producer husband Mutt Lange in 2008. She overcame vocal dysphonia, a paralysis of the vocal muscles that made it difficult for Twain even to speak.
Richie helped pull Twain out of her vocal travails by re-recording “Endless Love” as a duet with the country star in 2012, in line with her return to the stage at Caesars Palace.
Twain introduced Richie from the stage at the “Power of Love” gala in March, and said he’d helped her recover from losing her voice by inviting her to sing on a new version of “Endless Love.”
“She walked into the room and said, ‘I don’t know if I can do this,’ ” Richie said from the stage. He remembered telling Twain, “We have something in common. We are both scared to death because we have never done this before. Let’s just try it, and see how wrong we are about ourselves.”
Through all the talk of advanced production in her live show, Twain remains a proud songwriter. She is writing anew as the Zappos shows approach.
“The whole summer, I focused on being creative, so I’ve been working on the show, the production of the show, creative elements of the show, and I’m writing a whole new album.”
Twain is able to move swiftly from a creative thought to an actual recorded piece of music.
”Solitary time is important to me. So I’ll be at my house, where there is a window and I can see the lake, and I get out on that lake every evening, usually for the sunset,” she says. “That’s inspiring. I have a studio at my home, and it’s just me and my guitar with a mic on Pro Tools (audio workstation), and that’s really all I need. It’s easy to record these days.”
Twain tries to see all of the shows and hit Las Vegas’ high-end restaurants — Bavette’s at Park MGM and Nobu are two of her favorites. “The city is so excellent when it comes to food, so I’m going to that regularly and also going to shows,” she says. “I can’t wait to see ‘Ka’ (at MGM Grand), I haven’t seen ‘O’ (at Bellagio) in a while. I love the Golden Knights, too. I’m excited about the team and T-Mobile Arena is just gorgeous.
“I love Las Vegas so much. Two months is not enough for me, because there is so much to do.”
Twain is enamoured of Las Vegas’ outdoors, too. “I love to get out in the desert and ride horses and hike,” she says. “I love getting away, I love the desert, and I do love the outskirts of town.”
In her previous residency at Caesars Palace, Twain advanced her Shania Kids Can charity, and also served as Grand Marshal of Opportunity Village’s Great Santa Run in downtown Las Vegas.
“I feel I’m already established as a part of the community and have made that initiation into the city,” she says. “Now it’s really all about putting on a fantastic show that I know the room deserves and that my fans will enjoy. That is my focus right now.” The horses might not be onstage, but it’s still time to saddle up.