Shania Twain Q+A, Part 2: Sister Carrie Ann’s support, Marc Bouwer gowns

Vegas DeLuxe
By Robin Leach
November 20, 2012

Superstar Shania Twain has revealed that if it wasn’t for someone special in her life, she would never have agreed to the new run of “Still the One” shows at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace.

On Monday in Part 1 of my interview with the Canadian country-pop princess, she credited supporters including Lionel Richie, David Foster and our hometown “Empress of Soul” Gladys Knight with helping her overcome fears to sing again.

Now in Part 2 today, you’ll learn who had to say “yes” to performing onstage with her before Shania agreed to sign her Las Vegas contract.

Robin Leach: Shania, that stage in the Colosseum is about to become your home. It’s big and overwhelming. You conquered your fears to get into a recording studio again, but this is your first time back on a stage with a live audience. How do you feel already rehearsing on it?

Shania Twain: I feel great on it. It is a great stage. It doesn’t feel as big as it looks. It is well laid out. It is a very comfortable stage in every way.

R.L.: You’ve got your sister up there for support in the backup singers?

S.T.: Carrie Ann is two years younger than me. It’s comforting that family is out there with me. It is just so great. I love it. I am so glad she is doing it. She is not a professional singer, and I convinced her to do it with me. She sounds exactly like me. It is incredible. We have identical voices. She just never wanted to do it professionally, but I finally got her onstage with me, and it is exciting.

She had nothing to do with music at all. This is what I said to her. I said, “I am not going back on the stage unless you come with me. So if you say you’ll come with me, I’ll do it. Otherwise, I am not doing it.”

R.L.: So is she the reason you are here in Las Vegas?

S.T.: Yes, pretty much. She decided to do it. It’s like jumping off a bridge; I’ll do it if you do it. So, this is now what we are doing. She leads a very normal life up in Ontario, and now suddenly she’s singing on the Strip. That’s quite a story in itself.

R.L.: Celine Dion, Justin Bieber, Avril Lavigne, Alanis Morissette, Michael Buble, David Foster, you and your sister. I’m convinced that there’s something in the water in Canada.

S.T.: There is something especially great in Celine’s water, whatever she has! I have heard well wishes from her through many people. She is such a lovely person, and I’ve been backstage a couple of times when she wasn’t there and I saw Rene [Angelil, Celine’s husband], and Rene is just lovely and passes on hugs and kisses. They are just wonderful people. I’m in her dressing room, so I hope all of her success rubs off on me.

R.L.: My sources tell me that Marc Bouwer’s designs for your costumes are going to make every woman in the world drool with envy. Six gowns in all!

S.T.: Marc has done a super job. I am excited about wearing the clothes. Just yesterday we were doing regular rehearsals, and bits and pieces of the clothes are being finalized, but I had one pair of the boots to wear, and I stuck them on with my rehearsal clothes and something changes. When you put his clothes on, first with the shoes, it is just like wow, everything is different now.

The live stage is a whole experience. It is a visual experience as much as it is an audio experience; otherwise, you would just listen to a record. There is a reason why we have all these elements. The clothes are important, and Marc is doing a super job.

R.L.: What do you want audiences to take away from the experience with this show?

S.T.: Well, I just hope they have a great time. I am there to make people happy, and I want them to walk out of there and go, “Wow, that was a great show.” I just want them to enjoy it and love it. There is a lot of variety in the show because my life and my career have had so much variety. I think just to be able to say they have experienced something that they have never seen before will be the best compliment.

R.L.: Is there a favorite moment that you already have in this show that you have created with your director, Raj Kapoor?

S.T.: That is a tough one. I think the one I am enjoying the most, at the moment, is the medley. I can’t really explain why, I don’t know, I have got to do the show more to really fall into my favorite place, to be honest with you. But then there’s also the most emotional moment in the show. I hope I don’t cry. If I do, that is OK. I will just cry. I don’t want to tell you because I want you to see it. I know you’re coming to see it on opening night, but I want you to experience it and me not tell you in advance.

R.L.: What secret can you tell me? I know the video is the most extraordinary mapping overlay that has ever been created for a show.

S.T.: That is true. Technologically speaking, it will be awesome. Well, what can I tell you? There will be a live horse in the show. It will be El Alcazar. He wasn’t the horse I rode in on for the official arrival. That was Molesso, and he will also be in the show if you want to know that, too. Alcazar is actually the white horse that is in all of the ads, and that is the actual horse that is in the show. The one that is in the Caesars commercial.

Don’t come thinking they are going to light up like Robert Redford did.

We are not doing anything like that. It is a lot of production, but it is not a Cirque du Soleil production. It is more organic. There is a real contrast of organic and technology. That balance is really the beauty of the show.

R.L.: You saw this show in your head, obviously, before you started putting it together with Raj. Has it come together the way that you first envisioned it?

S.T.: Oh, definitely. It had to evolve because everything I wanted simply wasn’t possible. So one idea replaced another. I rolled out the whole storyboard, and then we just narrowed it down, and in some cases we added or came up with new ways of doing things that I wanted to do. It is all happening, and the whole personal story is there.

The way it has turned out has me very happy. Raj is wonderful in every way. He’s got such a cool head, and I am like a bossy boots down there. He is just so nice all the time. It is amazing. It is just really lovely. It is good, and I think we are still working really well together. I am happy with everything and everyone.

What we already have accomplished is wonderful. I’m so excited because everybody else gets more excited. Nobody, except for me and Raj, really has the full picture yet. So, as everybody is going through rehearsals, they still have never seen the whole thing at this stage.

We’ll run it full in bits and pieces this week just before Thanksgiving for the first time. I want the stage full on for the lion’s den test previews. We start those next Tuesday, and then we’ll know it all for sure.

I can’t believe we have finally reached this point. It has been a journey; I am not terrified. I am not fearful. I am now ready.

We’ll meet again with Shania the day before her Dec. 1 world premiere for last-minute updates, and then we’ll have a report and photos of opening night.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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