A Cyberspacer's First Visit To Las Vegas
By Gregory Scott
A couple of weeks ago school was coming to a close for summer. I didn't relish the fact that finals were coming up. My Mom had a bright idea, she promised if I did really well on my finals we would drive to Las Vegas and she would take me to see two shows as a reward! This sounded interesting to me since I'd never been to Las Vegas before and heard so much about that city. Now here was one hitch, I'd get to choose one show and she would chose another. My choice was "Blue Man Group". I had seen their billboards on Sunset Blvd. in Los Angles on my way to school and their sign intrigued me. I knew that they were unique, blue, played unusual instruments and of course for a kid my age, seventeen, they were "cool". My friends would think it was "the bomb" that I'd be seeing them perform live in person.
My Mom chose Celine Dion as the show she wanted to see. Now, I know that Celine has one of the greatest singing voices in the world, but mostly young girls and people who are my Mom's age loved Celine. Everytime we go in my Mom's car she is playing one of Celine's tapes. I think I heard "My Heart Will Go On" (The theme from 'The Titanic ') a thousand times or more driving to the
supermarket or going on errands. "Mom, I begged", the guys will think I'm weird if I tell them that I'm seeing Celine in person." My Mom laughed and said, "Trust Me on this one, not only are you going to fall in love with Celina after you see the show, you are going to tell all your friends to see her too, even your computer buddies, and your other friends who are so, what's the word you use," She asked thinking for a minute and trying to sound "in", Oh "yes" she continued "Bad". (Which in current slang means really hot!)
Finally the day of our trip was here. I really was excited. We were going to Las Vegas and Mom was going to let me do the driving. She has a bad back, and this would be the first big trip I ever did all the driving myself. We stopped a couple of times along the way, but close to five hours later we had arrived in Las Vegas. I couldn't believe my eyes. The strip, the street where most of the big hotels were looked like something out of Disneyland! There was the Luxor Hotel,
where the "Blue Man Group" was playing. That hotel looked like a pyramid out of Egypt, except this pyramid was gold! Across the street was the Excalibur Hotel, which looked just like a real castle, with flags, and Knights of armor and everything. It seemed that most of the hotels had a theme and they were build to replicate some of the most famous landmarks in the world. There was a pirates boat in front of Treasure Island, with live shows going on all day long. The Eiffel
Tower in front of the Paris Hotel. I learned that it was built just like the real tower
In France, but this one was smaller. The same goes for the "Statue of Liberty" which was a smaller model of the real statue in front of New York, New York Hotel. Getting closer to our hotel, we approached Caesar's Palace, which made me believe I was in Rome, Italy. It had huge fountains in the entrance, and then I
saw the Colosseum. This is the where Celine Dion's show is performed. Mom let me know that the parent company of Caesar's Palace, (company that owns Caesar's) Park Place", built the Colosseum just for Celine's Show at a cost of $95 million dollars, just so that she could perform. I was very impressed, that's a lot of money to spend on a theater! I wanted to see every single hotel and attraction; I wished we were staying two weeks instead of just two days.
We pulled in to the driveway of our hotel "The Imperial Palace". Ours looked like an authentic Japanese Temple. It was located centrally on the strip. My older brother Ari gave us a gift and paid for our room for the two nights. He found it on Expedia.com. Ari felt my Mom works really hard and she needed a little vacation and he was happy that I did well on my finals too. We had a great room, it faced Caesar's Palace and we were next to the top floor. I could stand on the balcony and look up and down the strip. We changed and got a bite to eat then we headed out to Caesar's Palace Colosseum to see Celine Dion.
From the moment that we waited in line to get into the Colosseum, I was able to look into the interior of the theater. It seemed that I was watching other people being seated on the opposite side of the building. I knew the Colosseum was round. As we entered the theater and sat down I starred at the front and realized that we, (the audience) were actually watching ourselves on a giant
screen that was nearly 5 stories high. Somewhere there were hidden cameras watching they and us projected this on the tremendous screen that seemed
round and was also in a giant picture frame image. Hey, this was so out there. I waved my arms over my head and I could see myself on the big screen doing the same thing. The people sitting in front of us noticed that we were on camera too. This started a reaction that really was funny. The camera would follow people entering the theater already, and they were oblivious to the fact that they were on camera and their image was projected on a giant LED state of the arts
screen. The camera followed a very pretty lady whose date was grabbing her backside! Everyone in the audience laughed. Then this really older man with white hair and a cane came in and he had a really sexy girl who looked like a Playboy Bunny on his arm, who has a beautiful white fur coat wrapped around herself. The audience laughed when we saw them on the big screen too. The
couple were seated in the front row too and finally realized that the audience was
watching them on screen. The audience roared with laugher when the couple was so embarrassed!
The people sitting next to us were commenting on how unusual this is to watch other's coming in and seeing them on the screen. We were introducing ourselves to people surrounding us and it was nice. Suddenly people in the audience was our friends instead of just strangers waiting to see the show. Then the music started "A New Day" was flashed on the screen, the name of Celine's Show. Then I was totally mesmerized by the total transformation of the stage. My Mom told me that Franco Dragone the man who directed Cirque Du Soleil produced and directed Celine's Show too. The music started and the sound felt like it was all over us! They must have had speakers everywhere.
The only way I can describe the show is that it was like watching a "live" music video with amazing special effects. Celine had such charisma that she mesmerized me and the rest of the audience too, all 4000 of us. We couldn't take our eyes off her. Her voice resounded with such power and feeling as she sang songs like "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face"; but Celine was not just on stage alone singing, what made her show so unbelievable was that each musical number was turned into a movie short film! She has about 60 dancers, and sets that not only were stationary but actually flew across the stage. That's right flew! Or grew on stage while you were watching! There was a grand piano and the keyboard player who crossed the stage flying in the sky, while Celine sang. Dancers were on every level imaginable and the LED Screen created scenes that were so realistic and amazing. There were vocanos, fire, rain huge building, and everything imagineable in them to create just the right mood, and
feeling for the song Celine was singing too. Celine did a tribute to some of the older great singers of all time, Frank Sinatra being one of the singing stars she
honored. I was surprised that Celine could dance so well too. She was surrounded by the male dancers and danced right along with them in some numbers. In others she danced with the girl and boy dancers too. Each musical number topped the next. The show created a special universe for each song. My breath was taken away from the creativity used for each production numbers. In one song, a boy and girl dancer, dressed like angels fly above the stage; but then Celine herself flies over five stories high as she exits the stage, Incredible! The man I was talking to before the show started said, "I can't believe she isn't scared to death doing that stunt." I agreed, " Celine was astonishing."
One of my favorite numbers was "I Drove All Night". This song felt as if you were in the middle of Times' Square in NYC. Cars and traffic were everywhere. The chorography and sets and cars flying across the stage really helped giving the effect that Celine was driving across the stage! The audience gave Celine a thunderous standing ovation and she said, "This is what show business is about, you the audience. When I was a little girl my manager always told me, 'Celine don't be scared, when you get in front of the audience pretend they are your family and you are singing for them in the living room of your home.' Tonight, you are my family". She said.
The finale of the show was my Mom's favorite song "My Heart Will Go On Love" from the film Titanic. Celine brought down the house with this song. When
nobody wanted the show to end. When I get back to LA I can't wait to tell all my friends how incredible Celine is in person. Hey watch out Christina, Brittany
Ditty, Emenim " Celine Rules'! "Hey guys, you've got to save all your money you make from jobs, and allowances and get your parents to take you to Vegas to see Celine You'll agree she's great.
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