Britney Spears Began Her Career in Las Vegas Purgatory Last NightS

This is who Britney Spears is now: a Las Vegas performer who's ripped off some Cirque de Soleil productions so she can tread water in our collective pop culture consciousness with a show called "Piece of Me." Are you sad? Do you feel old? Or did you somehow always know things would go down like this for Britney, even before she announced her Vegas semi-retirement back in September?

At 32, Spears is younger than other huge Vegas headliners like Elton John and Celine Dion, which means that her typical audience is a lot younger than the average Vegas show-going crowd. She's signed on to do 50 shows from 2014 to 2015 at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, and could do more if all goes well, if being the operative word: production values are reportedly much higher than those of an ordinary Wayne Newton hormone exhibition, and it's not yet clear if Spears's young(ish) fans will flock to Vegas to see her career recede under the sands of time. Also, the show sounds incredibly depressing:

Still, the show is not immune to nostalgia, one of the prime currencies in Las Vegas entertainment. It includes several callbacks to the 1990s and early 2000s, including plaid shirts tied around dancers' waists and a recap of the barely-there sparkling costume Spears wore in the "Toxic" music video.

Spears' younger self haunted the show, with clips of her early performances playing on huge monitors. Notably absent from those monitors, to the displeasure of some fans in the cheap seats, were any live close-ups of what was unfolding onstage.

A live SPCA adoption show scored by Sarah McLachlan and starring a three-legged cat named Snippets actually sounds more upbeat. [AP]

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  • And here is a video of Miley Cyrus getting fresh with one of Britney Spears's "Piece of Me" backup dancers, because if you believe that Britney would always end up as a headliner in Vegas, than you have to believe Miley will end up as the old lady who does nothing but attend the same Vegas shows in between marathon slot machine sessions. [YouTube]

Image via AP, Denise Truscello