Shania Twain on P.E.I. with promise of spectacular show

The Guardian
By Doug Gallant
August 29, 2014

Shania Twain is in the house, or at least on Prince Edward Island.

Twain arrived on a private jet Friday evening at the Charlottetown Airport.

Her production manager, John ‘Bugzee’ Hougdahl, says fans are in for a show of a lifetime tonight on the Charlottetown waterfront.

He said the country music superstar has pulled out all the stops for this show. Twain is traveling to Charlottetown with 11 musicians, three singers and six dancers from her Las Vegas show.

She’s essentially bringing the whole cast of that show.

Originally the plan was just to bring the musicians and some of the lighting she used in Las Vegas but Twain had a change of heart early on.

“She decided that her fans deserved the whole show, with all the dancers and the whole video show from Caesar’s Palace.”

Hougdahl said the video screens they’re using here, for example, have the same aspect ratio as the screens at Caesar’s Palace.

To mount a show this large requires a very large stage area so they’ve taken a massive touring stage, one previously used by Bon Jovi, and made it even larger.

“The stage is a pre-existing architectural structure that’s been used at various festivals and shows across Canada and the U.S.,” Hougdahl said. “The difference is we’ve made this stage 15 feet wider, giving Shania a larger performance area to work with.”

Hougdahl, who’s worked for some of the biggest names in the music business, including Michael Jackson and Bon Jovi, said the Charlottetown show will have a number of similarities to Twain’s Las Vegas show, but there will most certainly be some surprises.

“The ‘startle factor’, the thing that make an audience go oooohhhh’, expect to see a lot of that.” He wouldn’t elaborate further because he didn’t want to spoil it for her fans.

But he would say there are things they are able to do in Charlottetown they are not able to do in Las Vegas because in Las Vegas they are working with a fixed set in a fixed space.

“The Las Vegas show is not a touring show. We’re in Las Vegas for two years, sharing a stage with Rod Stewart and Elton John. The show is designed to fit in a very unique theatre and because of the parameters you build a show to fit. There are pieces of that show that are just too large to travel. Here we can do other things.”

Does the Charlottetown site work for a show like this.

Hougdahl believes it will.

And he should know. He was one of the people who originally came to Charlottetown to view the site and gave it the thumbs up for the show.