You can say a lot of things about Britney Spears — but you can’t say she doesn’t work, bitch.
Pulling off a 90-minute, 23-song tour de force is no easy task. And Spears, with the help of a bevy of fantastic backup dancers, fulfilled her promise to her fans at the opening of her Las Vegas residency at Planet Hollywood Friday night to “bring the cheese” — in a good way. To those hoping for some sort of schadenfreude disaster, you won’t find it here; Spears speeds through her hits and some new songs off her latest album, Britney Jean, with great energy, slick choreography, and about four different hairstyles, not to mention the seven costume changes.
The show owes more to Cirque du Soleil and her own ’90s-era videos than it does to Celine Dion, but will it be enough to draw a younger audience to Las Vegas for the next two years? The show opens as Britney descends to the stage from a huge sphere — the first of several high-flying stunts in the 90-minute performance — and launches into ‘Work B**ch,” with Spears clad in a sparkly nude bodysuit, reminiscent of her outfit in 2004’s “Toxic” music video. You can almost make out her six pack from the audience; that is to say, she looks amazing. It takes her a few songs to look completely comfortable on stage, but by the middle of “3” she’s given a brief shoutout to the crowd and gotten in sync, just in time to launch into “… Baby One More Time” and “Oops!… I Did It Again,” clad in black and donning a short brown wig, letting us know this was new Britney revisiting old Britney — we weren’t going to get a red leather body suit or the heart thump dance move tonight.