LAS VEGAS, Nev. - A visibly excited Shania Twain said Friday that her splashy new Las Vegas show represents the most "personal journey" of her music career — but added she wouldn't have been able to get through the lengthy preparation process without the patient support of her husband, Frederic Thiebaud.
On the eve of the premiere of "Shania: Still the One," Twain told a news conference at Caesars Palace that she's been focused so intently on her new show that she's only seen sunlight about once per week — and only at the behest of her Swiss hubby, whom she married in 2011.
But the Timmins, Ont., native is clearly thrilled about the process. Twain gushed about the ambitious production that's set to take place at Caesars' dazzling Colosseum and claimed she's never had a "more exciting" show. Still, she concedes that the 'round-the-clock preparations have had her leaning on Thiebaud more than usual.
"Oh, he's a daily support," said Twain, clad in a sleeveless beige sweater with pale gold jeans and knee-high black leather boots. "I can't live without him. I need that support. I need him, and I just need what we have.
"And it grounds me every day and reminds me that there are a lot more important things going on in the world than what I do."
Well, the show might not be gravely important, but it has seemingly rejuvenated Twain.
She said the wish list she carried into her early meetings with her production team — including costume designer Marc Bouwer and show director Raj Kapoor, both of whom joined the 47-year-old at Friday's media assemblage — was based on her "wildest dreams," and she's ecstatic so many of those ideas have been realized with the production.
She said the show tells her story, with hits including "Still the One" and "Any Man of Mine" forming the spine of the narrative.
While the singer clearly wanted to save some surprises for Saturday's sold-out opening at the 4,298-seat venue, she said the show would feature a horse as well as other "nature elements," in addition to Twain's first-ever onstage duet with her younger sister, Carrie.
"My poor little baby sister," said a laughing Twain, a jovial presence throughout the session. "She's a doll. And she has not been on the stage since she was eight years old. And she never wanted to be a part of professional performing or singing.
"She sounds identical to me, so if there are any bad notes, it's her."
Jokes aside, the collaboration is clearly meaningful to Twain.
"It's really bonding for us. We've always been very close but this is now a moment we are cherishing. We just wish our mother could see it. But we are happily emotional about it."
In the aftermath of her divorce to hit-making record producer Robert (Mutt) Lange — the studio mastermind who helmed and co-wrote all of the hits that helped her sell 75 million albums — Twain had said she temporarily lost her ability to sing.
She says now, however, that her voice has recovered and she feels ready to take on her first public performances in nearly eight and a half years.
"I'm actually pretty good," said Twain, noting that she was helped by a pair of preview performances. "What really makes me nervous are the critics. The fans are who I'm up there for … they're there for the same reason that I'm there: we love the music and we love the entertainment, and so I feel like there's a really positive exchange there.
"And critics just make me nervous. What can I say? That's the nerve-wracking part of it."