Elton Goes Vegas
Elton Goes Vegas
Goodbye, yellow-brick road, hello, Sin City.

By Marcus Errico

Elton John has inked a monster three-year deal to perform 75 shows at Las Vegas' Caesars Palace beginning in February.

"I cannot do this show anywhere else in the world except here," the sequin-friendly singer said at a Vegas press conference Tuesday. "It's back to costume changes and Velcro."

The deal, in the works for months, had been pegged by Billboard as worth upwards of $54 million, but John played coy when asked how much he was making.

"Let's just say, I'm very well paid," he cracked..

The Rocket Man will perform with his band five times a week for five weeks a year at the Palace's Colosseum, the specially designed venue where Celine Dion currently holds forth.

"By bringing Elton John, one of the best-known and best-loved performers in the world, to an extended engagement at Caesars Palace, we've established the Colosseum as the nation's premier musical showcase for top tier talent," Wallace R. Barr, president and CEO of Caesars owner Park Place Entertainment, said in a statement.

John's show, titled The Red Piano, will not affect Dion's, who is locked into a three-year, $100 million contract. Elton will begin his first series of performances February 13-22, while Dion is on vacation.
The Red Piano, billed in a press release as "a distinctive show [blending] Elton's breathtaking music with vibrant visual imagery," will be designed and directed by photographer David LaChapelle.
"The wild and wacky days are here again," said LaChapelle.

Tickets go on sale Wednesday and range from a top-tier price of $250 to $100 for the cheap seats. The show is expected to bring in more than $60 million in ticket sales.

The $95 million, 4,100-seat Colosseum, modeled after the Rome landmark, was built to house Dion's A New Day spectacle, which launched in March. Other acts who have appeared there in recent months include Mariah Carey, Tim McGraw and Gloria Estefan, while Jerry Seinfeld is slated for a December run.
Elton, 56, has been keeping plenty busy. Aside from his humongous garage sale, he's been busy working on two musicals--a London version of Billy Elliott to open in 2004 and a Broadway adaptation of Anne Rice's The Vampire Lestat--and is also providing music for a new Fox TV show produced by ex-Hardy Boy Shaun Cassidy.