Shania Twain ends two-year run at Caesars, set to return in 2015

Vegas DeLuxe
By Robin Leach
December 15, 2014

Caesars Palace General Manager Sean McBurney and AEG Live President of Global Touring John Meglen
present a check to Shania Twain for her Shania Kids Can Foundation during her final performance at the
Colosseum on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, at Caesars Palace.

In the two years country pop queen Shania Twain was a resident at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace, she performed 105 shows for 337,500 guests — but never one like her finale Saturday night.

It was a blowout blockbuster, highly emotional with tears and surprises — and within five minutes of the curtain coming down, John Meglen of AEG Live and Shania’s Creative Artists Agency Hollywood agent shook hands on a deal to bring her back next year.

Shania will return for an encore series of shows in September and October, I learned. And because the Colosseum engagements are now filled with Sir Elton John, Rod Stewart, newly reunited Brooks & Dunn and Reba McEntire and the returning Celine Dion this summer, those were the only 21 days available.

I also learned that there might be more dates in 2016.

“It’s so exciting, “ Shania told me backstage after her triumphant farewell performance. “I’m so happy knowing I’ll be coming back, and I was never expecting to be interrupted during the show to get a check for $5,000 for our Shania Kids Can Foundation.”

Caesars Palace General Manager Sean McBurney joined John Meglen just before Shania’s campfire scene for the surprise presentation. A video highlight reel of her amazing two years was played.

“It’s been an extraordinary two years,” said John. “Shania and her show have received accolades from fans and critics alike. It has been a tremendously successful run of shows. She’s also shown great love for Las Vegas just as the city has to her.

“Tonight is a crowning moment, very emotional, and you could feel the electricity in the Colosseum. We want to have her return.”

For a moment, I thought Shania was going to be overwhelmed and stranded in the theater by the love of the audience. She jumped offstage for two songs and roamed the audience posing for selfies, giving and getting hugs and exchanging kisses. She was mobbed by her polite but very enthusiastic fans reaching out to just touch her.

I’d never seen anything like it. Security had to calm down the zealous crowds. At one point, her microphone was grabbed from her by one fan so he could sing the next line of her song. Security wrestled it back so she could continue the number.

It was a very magical and special nearly two-hour spectacular. Shania, her singers and her musicians played the best they’d been the entire run. It was a moment of glory and an incredibly triumphant way to depart.

Shania told me: “I never expected all that love. It was extraordinary, and, although it was a little overwhelming, I’m glad I got to say hello to so many fans on the farewell stroll.”

The night before, Shania hosted a meet-and-greet reception for fans who traveled from all over the world for her final two shows. They traveled from as far away as Australia, Europe and Asia. Shania auctioned off tour memorabilia to raise funds for her Shania Kids Can Foundation, and even sold her high-heeled shoes to one enthusiastic fan.

As she stood in her stockinged feet before finding a pair of boots to zip into, Shania said: “That’s a first!” And promptly autographed the soles of the shoes.

While she was in Las Vegas, Shania started her Shania Kids Can project at Tom Williams Elementary School here. Her nonprofit organization is dedicated to improving the lives of at-risk children and is a response to the hardships and difficulties she faced as a youngster.

Before her final shows, we posted my farewell interview with Shania last Thursday. When she arrived on the Strip in December 2012, she rode in on a horse in the middle of a stampede of other horses. On Saturday night, she departed at midnight on a private jet for her home in the Bahamas to join her family to prepare their Christmas celebrations.

“It’s been an absolutely wonderful two years in Las Vegas. It’s all gone so fast,” said Shania. “Tonight is very emotional because I am turning a page in my own history. I’m making steps across this stage I’ll never make again.

“I’ve made some wonderful friends and enjoyed some great experiences here. I’m taking many happy memories with me. I’m glad we had such a wonderful audience to join me to say goodbye to this beautiful building.”

Moments later backstage after the handshake deal for her return had been agreed to, she added: “It’s wonderful news. I’m so glad to be coming back. I couldn’t be happier. There’s no way but up from here on with my life.”

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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