It’s been a Circus (every pun intended) ever since Britney Spears confirmed her two-year residency at Las Vegas’ Planet Hollywood starting Dec. 27 last week. Will she by lip-syncing? Are tickets tanking or flying out the door (as TMZ reported yesterday).
It seems, as far as tickets go, the answer is somewhere in between, and as far as lip-syncing, the answer is open to interpretation.
Spears’ manager, Larry Rudolph, told Billboard that tickets were selling well: the VIP packages for the first 16 shows sold out rapidly, and that in terms of regular tickets, at least 40% had sold since they went on sale Sept. 20. For shows that don’t begin for another three months, that is a very healthy, strong start, especially in Vegas, which relies on walk-up business. In the media, we tend to get breathless press releases when shows sell out within 10 minutes of going on sale, but that is extremely rare: the vast majority of shows never sell out. A quick visit to TicketMaster today shows there are still tickets available for every performance although TicketMaster cautioned that there were “not many left” in the 4,600-seat theater for the Dec. 27, Dec. 28 and Dec. 31 shows.
Rudolph said that sales were so strong that Caesars (Planet Hollywood’s parent) wants to put the next flight of shows on sale earlier than planned.
As far as the rumors the Spears will be lip-syncing (as she’s certainly been known to do and seemed to do so heavily on portions of her last tour), Rudolph said she will be singing live as much as possible and that she is receiving vocal and dance coaching daily. “The idea is to try to get her pretty close to 100%,” Rudolph said about live singing. “There might be some numbers where she's full out dancing with a (vocal) track underneath her, but there won't be any lip-syncing across the board on anything.”
Rudolph calls Spears’ new album, which comes out Dec. 3, her ‘Ray of Light’ album, a reference to Madonna’s 1998 electronic-oriented set. “[First single] ‘Work Bitch’ is a great example of a song that's from this album, but I don't know that it necessarily defines the album,” he said. “There's a lot of other material on here that is really rich. There's a ballad called "Perfume" that she recorded recently. Britney wrote it with Sia. It's a breakup song that's about wanting the next girl to smell your perfume on the guy afterwards...There are a couple other songs that have a really modern EDM vibe. I really think of this as Britney's 'Ray of Light' album -- it's kind of like that in a lot of ways. She wrote everything on the album with collaborators. There's one or two she wrote herself. That's something she wanted to do coming in. She wanted to make it very personal. They're all custom made for her, based on what's going on with her life and in her head.”
"Work Bitch" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 yesterday at No. 12.
Are you excited for Spears' new album and Vegas show?