First and most importantly, I just posted to The Strip Podcast feed a 14-minute video report on the opening that includes some priceless footage of Robin Leach (at about the 5:00 mark) and his date giving an impromptu review, a Celine fan singing for me in exchange for a Celine thumb drive and some choice moments from the post-premiere press conference.
Download that by right-clicking here to watch it at your leisure on the device of your choice. Here it is, as well, on YouTube:
If you're really interested, you can go to this UStream site and watch all the raw footage, including most of the footage from the press conference. I didn't including it in the video partly because the audio and video quality wasn't great -- Celine looks like a ghost for some reason -- but if you want to browse it, it's all there.
A few stray thoughts beyond my review about the opening evening's events:
* I know some folks will be surprised by my raves for Celine's show. It's just that good. Any of the too-cool-for-school folks who loved the Old Vegas should be able to appreciate how hard she works and how impressive her talent is, even if it's not their musical tastes.
* I have never seen a star not involved in a scandal do as exhaustive and comprehensive a press conference as Celine did last week. She was patient, complete and gracious. I just wish my colleagues wouldn't ask her stupid questions about how Japan's earthquake or violence in Mexico impacted her show prep and, also, that she wouldn't give such verbose and mundane responses. But more importantly, this was when the media ought to get to spray a star with questions, AFTER they've seen her performance. How I wish Garth Brooks had done one of these AFTER his debut at Wynn; I opted out of a one-on-one with him prior to the show's opening because I knew I'd have better questions after. Once we know what they've created, we can ask questions about their creative processes and decisions that they won't answer before it's revealed to the public.
* I was quite disappointed to see the publicists for AEG Live and the Colosseum at Caesars Palace continued to indulge Bill Cody and Chris Rauschnot, aka the Twitter Twerps. I know that since my Las Vegas Weekly column and Chuck Monster's VegasTripping.Com expose the central publicists at Caesars Entertainment have learned not to invite these swindlers and freeloaders to join proper journalists at press conferences. I'm told they were seen late into the evening chowing down on the free food. These guys are not legit, their Twitter follower numbers are artificially inflated and their material is scarcely seen. Also, they bully. It needs to stop. This goes to you, too, Venetian.
* I was also dismayed that when, during the show, ushers informed journalists they could not Tweet, they demanded special permission to do so. I just don't get this and never will. Yes, tweeting is a terrific medium, but it doesn't erase the obligation of someone at a show to obey the rules and not disrupt the experience of other patrons. There is nothing so important about something happening during a show that it needs to be tweeted. Rather, it shows a tremendous amount of self-importance and disrespect. If something newsworthy happens, then by all means whip it out. But it's not news that Celine was in a silver gown singing "Open Arms."
* I now have an extra Celine's Back wristband and thumb drive. Listen to the next proper edition of The Strip, due out next week some time, to find out how they can be yours.