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Six-month countdown begins to Shania Twain’s Caesars Palace residency

Caesars Palace President Gary Selesner, Shania Twain and AEG executive John Meglen in Nashville on Wednesday, June 8, 2011.
Photo: Judy Eddy

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Shania Twain at 2003 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand

Raj Kapoor - from

ShaniaTwain and Lionel Richie - from

ShaniaTwain and Lionel Richie - from

In just 24 hours, we start the six-month countdown to country and crossover queen Shania Twain’s first performance of her new residency show “Still the One” at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, and the Canadian superstar was here the past week continuing her planning. Shania’s two-year contract to share the stage with Celine Dion, Sir Elton John and Rod Stewart starts Dec. 1.

Officials at Caesars and AEG producers confirmed that Shania had a week of meetings, including several at length with her director. Vegas DeLuxe has learned that Raj Kapoor, who directed the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato world tour and for five years produced and directed the “American Idols: Live” touring shows, will helm Shania’s show.

In addition to being a video director for stars from Michael Jackson to Toni Braxton, Raj also produced and directed the “Dancing With the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance” tours. He was listed as a creative consultant and a screen producer for the 54th Grammy Awards and has produced the performances on the first two seasons of “The Voice.”

I was reliably told that the direction of the show and its content are well along and moving smoothly in this development stage, although nothing as yet is set in stone. However, Shania will now start the set list from her home in the Bahamas and plans to return here in October for rehearsals off Strip and then onstage in November.

“She will perform all of her biggest hits and prove her accomplishments as an amazing singer and songwriter. It’s going to be a phenomenal show,” I was told.

Shania talked with me exclusively about the strength of her voice and her game plan for the new Caesars show in a two-part interview posted last June 13 (“A happy Shania Twain: ‘My voice is stronger today than ever’ ”) and 14 (“Shania Twain exclusive, Part 2: Her game plan for Caesars Palace show”).

While in Las Vegas, Shania was spotted at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago in The Forum Shops at Caesars and after daylong meetings watched Cirque du Soleil’s “Zumanity” in New York-New York.

She also filmed a segment that will be edited into the current Caesars Palace bellman commercials, for which she checked into the resort on a white horse as Louis Vuitton suitcases were piled high on the luggage cart. Cameras rolled at the main hotel lobby and near the outdoor patio of Michel Richard’s Central.

Shania also posed for photographer Denise Truscello for new portraits and promotional photographs for her show, and we’ll post them here at as soon as they are available.

Hailed as the first lady of country music, Shania was ranked the world’s bestselling female country artist of all time -- until she lost her voice. “It’s the biggest challenge of my whole journey,” said Shania as she explained how she had to regain it to return to singing with Lionel Richie.

It resulted in the video of their remake of “Endless Love” filmed at her Bahamas home for Lionel’s latest work, “Tuskegee,” an album of duets.

You can absolutely bank on Lionel -- and other celebrities -- being in the front row at the Colosseum when Shania takes the stage six months from now.

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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