I was hoping to take a hot minute or two off from it all upon my return from our Sin City Christmas but since everyone has chimed in about Britney Spears’ opening night of her 100-show residency at Planet Hollywood, it’s my turn. Granted my seat wasn’t as close as say Miley Cyrus’ 50-yard-line worshiping center of Britney’s universe but I could see just fine. That’s considering I was on my feet 95% of the show. Sorry for the ones behind me watching me shake my ass, wave my fists and film a majority of the show who were not joining in. It’s a concert performance. GET UP!
To know me is to know I like Britney a lot and follow most of what she does. Hell, we even named our little Jack Russell her namesake. I, like most gay fans, set a high standard for Spears because of our worship even though we’ve seen her at her absolute worst. It’s unconditional love and forever care about the pop princess that keeps holding her up on the pedestal we view her on. I will be as honest as I can be here about her performance but I will always take the high road, know that.
The husband and I arrived to Las Vegas’ premiere resort The Cosmopolitan on Christmas afternoon after a pleasant painless drive in from the desert. Our holiday trip has become what we give each other and ourselves for Xmas. Plus with my birthday days later it’s my gift to myself. We enjoy the escape and treat ourselves very well for a job well done during the weeks at work and because we deserve the break. This was our fifth trip to call The Cosmopolitan home while in Vegas. They treat us so incredibly always going beyond imagination or expectation. The first treat: Upgraded to a spacious wraparound suite that visualized the Bellagio Fountains. We were living!
After the cute bellman delivered our wardrobe and whatnot to the suite we popped down for a festive path around the resort then out to the Strip. The Liberace exhibit inside The Cosmo thrilled the bling lover in me with the costumery and glitz. His rhinestoned car and piano were true standouts! I was having a hankering for Krispy Kreme to have in the room since the sickening suite had a full kitchen with room for milk, water and things above the minibar so we hightailed it to Excalibur via the tram, walkways and dodging tourists. We had reservations at STK for 7:30 p.m. which caused a pep in our step. A great travel trip in Vegas: Prepare to walk your ass off.
STK was bustling Christmas Night. As we sat down our attentive waiter Zoban immediately began making our first night very special. One true indulgence we have is making love to the culinary lover that lives inside us by eating the house down! It’s our time for depravity and decadence. Jacques had one dozen oysters and I had tuna sashimi to start it off while drinking a delicious bottle of champagne compliments of my dear friend in PR. She rocks us each trip. Our meat arrived to the table soon after and was cooked to perfection. We finished it all off with mini ice-cream cones and espresso. The staff is beautiful and the food delicious. GO 2 STK N LV!
Thursday was excessive gluttony at Wicked Spoon Buffet. I’m sorry. It was all too damn good not to sample as much as my petite tummy would hold. I have a true baby bump going on right now. Diet soon. Their small plate concept lets you sample bunches of food without loading your plate up with too much. Even though my 3 trips plus 1 for dessert seemed mild to many around us. We were so full we were miserable. A walk around the resort helped but a nap helped even better. That evening we opted to observe the skaters on the Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan instead of joining in. I enjoyed a roasted peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich with chips and a hot chocolate by campfire while Jacques watched next to the ice. That was dinner for us we were still so full from earlier I swear!
Friday morning we had some room service before walking the Strip for souvenir shopping and new drag purchasing. We don’t go out late-night very often when we travel unless it’s a special moment so we tend to rise and shine early for most. Especially in Vegas. Whoever said the holidays were quiet in the town of neon love and money making was crazy. The town was packed! Lunch called us back to the resort and China Poblano fed us as they have 3 times before. Delicious.
I decided to hit their gym on the 14th floor which was stunning. The cardio machines face the Strip and gorgeous boys swaggered throughout while I got a great workout in. There’s a hardwood floor and mirrors for stretching and yoga plus a boxing rink for sparing and training. Their Techno Gym equipment was solid and I loved the layout of the facility. Dimly lit with dark wood tones and classic black equipment, towels and water. Did I mention the sexy guys?!
We had reservations at Holstein’s burger and shake emporium inside The Cosmopolitan for 6:45 since I was seeing Britney at 9 across the street at Planet Hollywood. I decided to take a bath in the deep tub up in the room before getting dressed while listening to the in-room music provided through the televisions. Water Colors was my channel choice which was light jazz, F.Y.I. Jacques made use of the tub as well as I soaked up a last night’s supply of the neon radiation the bright bulbs of the Strip supply me until we return in the summer.
The Linq should be open by then positioned behind the Quad Resort, nee Imperial Palace, where the worlds tallest ferris wheel called High Roller stands preparing for its first spin in 2014. I kept watching the wheel waiting for it to magically begin to turn even though I had read they were placing LED lighting on each cabin so it would be a bit longer. When I saw the sign for The Linq light up on Friday for the first time I knew it would be soon enough. Next trip!
Holstein’s was casual and prefect for what we were looking for. The crowd is much younger than say STK or the other finer restaurants inside The Cosmo but that was a fun change. I had Country Fried Bacon while Jacques noshed on Fried Calamari to start it all off. My Campfire S’Mores Shake was exactly what you would think add marshmallow vodka. Whew, baby! It worked very well with my Memphis Burger with pulled pork and pickle atop delicious beef. One of Holstein’s sexy managers came over to introduce himself and shake hands during our meal which I found impressive. Nick, Neil… something. Plus, I wanted to chew his sexy beard off but that’s just me.
After running upstairs for a quick drag change and ticket grab, I pranced my happy ass over to see Britney’s “Piece of Me” extravaganza at at the renovated Axis Theatre inside the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. It was chaos getting in. Smartypants that I am shopped earlier for my Britney t-shirt inside her shop that homes next to the theatre so I wouldn’t have to worry about it during the show. Glad I did even though I did notice a shirt or 2 more that were inside the theater but not in the store unless I missed them. However I didn’t miss the queen working the retail counter at Britney’s store who I found cast perfectly for that role as sales girl who can’t be bothered.
Once you walk in to Axis Theater there’s a photographer taking your photo on the “step and repeat” they have set up who then hands you a sheet of paper about getting your picture after the show and you’re whisked away inside. The excitement was palpable with groups of fans dressed in iconic Britney imagery and groups of excited queens ready to sing along to every word. Glass cases positioned around the atrium showcased costumes from Spears’ videos including the stewardess in “Toxic” and red catsuit from “Oops!…” plus her black velvet dress from Star Search to mention a few. Eager sales crew sold souvenir such while concessions were chirping with soda and snacks searchers.
I went alone while the husband hit the casino. So as I tried to find a signal to tweet what I was seeing I found my seat next to one of those queens who felt obliged to sing along to every song but apologize to everyone around her ahead of time. How courteous. Luckily the group around us were all standing because there was no video projection displaying the stage like a concert for those who were not. The screens provided backdrops during the show and what I considered a fierce video montage of Britney’s clips, hits and classics during a darken stage costume change.
The show started about 10-15 minutes late but that gave Miley Cyrus enough setup to begin her look-at-me routine walking into the room. The entire crowd stood up to see and camera phones a’glowing waiting for her to drop it like it’s hot and twerk her little booty off. She did not do that but she did sling her hair back and forth providing Spears a clean view of her number one fan, Cyrus herself. The queen next to me looked over at me after I asked, “What’s the Tea?” and replied orgasmically, “Miley just hugged Katy!” Katy Perry had also just arrived. Of course I jump up to see like Katy would be shooting whipped cream out of her cleavage or something. It was such a spectacle and exactly what I expected for Las Vegas.
Britney opened the show with her latest dance smash “Work Bitch” which brought everyone to their feet and not back down for around 90 minutes. I sat a few times during ballads and lulls of costume/prop change but overall I sang the songs aloud, waved my big tattooed arms around like a bald MMA fighter gone crazy and enjoyed the hell out of the show. I didn’t care what people thought. I hoped they thought I was having a good time because they would have been right.
Billboard breaks down the entire show and I don’t disagree much with them. In my opinion Britney sang over many of her tracks in parts, lip-synced much of it and sang live to her ballads when she sat in one place. A couple of times the microphone picked her up breathy between songs which makes me happy she’s somewhat live but confused about her not being out of breath other places. Live? Not entirely. Not surprised. I knew exactly what I was going to see. I was thrilled she made it through the entire show. That’s an accomplishment! I give it to her. Her dancing comes from a dancer background so it’s very in-the-floor and solid. She nailed much of the steps while other times I noticed she wasn’t finishing moves. I’m a choreographer and hard sell. I was watching her and only her.
Britney looked amazing and sported a brunette short straight bob during a few numbers that I was living for and thick blonde mane for the majority of stage time. There was some scripted dialogue she spit out here and there but I wasn’t sure much of it would be what she would say if given free reign. It didn’t feel very organic in hindsight. Granted it was opening night so I give her and the production team some room for polish. The dancers were on-point and there were some definite highlights in the show I found spectacular. I could see myself seeing the show again during her residency. Who wants to go?!
My Britney’s “Piece of Me” show highlights: Her stoned and sequined nude catsuit for “Work Bitch” opening production, epic ballad “Everytime” with Spears suspended 50-feet above the stage in stunning white angel wings and gorgeous fabric draped toward the ground while snow confetti dropped from above, creative chair choreography and prop work during all-time favorite “Do Something,” surprisingly flying out of a enormous tree during “Toxic” on cables and the realization “Piece of Me” is one fierce song.
Lowlights? Hmm… The campy and cheeky Mario Lopez on his knees in harness stunt during the surprise was-it-a-hit-question-mark “Freakshow,” the “Circus” bit with the screens that “reflected” Spears while she danced but never matched up while one was dark for an entire segment, the “Scream and Shout” throwaway, Madonna’s lyrics completely cut from “Me Against the Music,” and the pullout poster programs they were pushing for $10. Overall, I really loved the show!
Another amazing getaway to our home away from home, Las Vegas! Thanks to The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for taking incredible care of us and my husband for giving me the best gift of all, his love. ♥♠♦♣