LAS VEGAS — Shania Twain said she approached the idea of a Las Vegas residency with a “very wild dream” of how it should look. And on Saturday (Dec. 1), she’ll bring that dream to life in Caesars Palace for the official opening night of her two-year Shania: Still the One residency.
“The show is a story, and it involves all of my favorite elements. I think it’s very important to say that,” she told reporters and photographers at Caesars Palace on Friday afternoon. “The structure of the show is based around the hits, and that’s the spine of the show. That’s where the show is written from. The order of the songs has barely changed from the very, very beginning of putting the song list together — that spine together.”
Twain also said she worked with her manager, as well as show director Raj Kapoor and costumier Marc Bouwer, to bring her most iconic music videos to life. “And now we’re making them bigger than life,” she added. Meanwhile, her band will be a mix of new and returning members, and the show is aiming for a “contemporary” spin to her catalog.
She’s incorporating some of her favorite nonmusical elements into the storyline, like family, nature and even horses. The final piece arrives on Saturday — the live audience that will be witness her first public performance in nearly a decade.
“I told the band and the crew a couple of days ago in rehearsal that they are where I get the energy — and where I get all the excitement and fun from — during rehearsal because I was playing to an empty audience,” she noted. “Now I’m going to have it all the way around me, 360 degrees, with people in the audience and all of the crew and band behind me. And watching their energy and their pleasure in the show makes me smile and laugh and feel new about it every time we do it.”
Seated between Kapoor and Bouwer, Twain fielded questions during the press conference, discussing her frame of mind, her rejuvenated voice and her personal approach to the show.
As opening night approaches, what goes through your mind as you wake up each morning?
Twain: Oh, it’s what goes through my mind all through the night! It doesn’t start when I wake up. (laughs) There are so many details going into this show! I’m sure I’m not the first to sit up here and say that about our productions, but there seems to be a great deal of detail that never stops going through my head. I’m up sometimes in the middle of the night, at 2 or 3 in the morning, I’m emailing — and I’m getting immediate responses! (laughs) It’s more a question of what time do we wake up? On every different day, we’re going to be thinking about something else, some aspect of the show.
Given the layoff in performing, do you feel butterflies?
I’m actually pretty good because we’ve had two audiences now [in dress rehearsals]. I think the only thing that makes me nervous is the critics. The fans are who I’m out there for. I’m there for them, and I feel it. They’re there for the same reason that I’m there. We love music, and we love the entertainment. So I feel like there’s a really positive exchange there. And critics just make me nervous. What can I say? That’s the nerve-wracking part of it.
What does being at one venue allow you to give to your fans? And what is it like to be in a room that is specifically built for a singer?
The venue is great in a lot of ways. Like you were saying, it’s prepared especially for a performing artist. There’s no hockey in there. No basketball. It’s built for this. So that’s a luxury. The show itself is very fun for me. I was a bit worried in the beginning, like, “If we’re staying in the same place every day, how am I going to feel about that? Is there going to be an edge that I am going to be missing?” But I’ve never had a show so exciting before. I’m having so much fun out there. I’m loving all of the people up onstage. They’re having a great time. We’re seeing new things all the time behind us and around us that I feel like we could never have in a traveling show — technology and that sort of stuff. And I don’t think I ever get the same glimpse twice. There are just too many angles [to get repetitive]. It’s a wonder in itself.
After everything you’ve been through, what does this show represent to you personally and also in terms of accomplishments in your career?
I would say, really career-wise, it’s not even about that. It’s all personal challenge. That’s what this is. It is not a career challenge. It is a personal challenge of all of my talents. And talent is a personal thing. It’s not a career thing. It’s something that you apply to a career, but these are just things that I like to do. I like to direct. I like to design. I like to create. I like to communicate with people. I love the audience. I enjoy them. I want to touch them. I want to know them. I want to interact with my talent and other people. That is really what I do, and I’ve made career out of it. But this is really a personal journey, this especially, more than anything I’ve ever done.