By Steve Bornfeld
Many do it. Few—make that none—do it better.
Up the aisles and through the rows she goes, handing out hugs, hand slaps, high-fives, air kisses, scribbled autographs and camera poses—never not singing, never missing a musical cue, then climbing back onstage.
Until she does it again.
Perfecting the ol’ sing-and-schmooze is an art. That makes Shania Twain a stage-show da Vinci. Anywhere you are in the front half of the Colosseum at Caesars Palace during her Still The One show, you’d almost have to try to escape her.
Checking in on her production recently as she closes in on the first anniversary of her two-year residency (she recently announced early 2014 dates) was a reminder that Twain’s wham-bam showmanship and theatrical pizzazz notwithstanding, the love-in is the show’s loveliest element.
Depending on your expectations.
Possibly the friendliest headliner on the Strip, Twain differs from others who wade into the fan pool. You get the feeling she’d stay there if she could. Some other performers, however much they act as though communing with us, the great unwashed, thrills them—seem to employ it as a performance stratagem. Twain can’t get enough of us. Others temporarily allow us access. Twain invites us in. Eagerly.
I half-expected her to ask us backstage afterward for cookies and milk.
Your degree of affection for her display of affection might, however, hinge on your level of fandom. Those offstage forays combine with onstage embellishments—videos; live horses; the star descending from the ceiling on a suspended motorcycle; an enormous “Shania” marquee that could rival the famed “Hollywood” sign—to mark Still The One as less a concert than A Happening.