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Celine Dion and her big voice play the St. Pete Times Forum Jan. 28

If I were in Las Vegas, and somebody asked me if I wanted to see Celine Dion sing at Caesars Palace (where she recently had a record-setting run of shows), I'd say yeah, sure, but let's get a drink first. A few drinks, actually. And maybe some glue. The Canadian belter is campy and corny and glitzy, but then so is Sin City. After all, you do things in the desert you normally wouldn't do anywhere else. (Trust me, you really know who your friends are when it comes to bail money. You're dead to me, Larry.)

But if I had to pay to see her at the St. Pete Times Forum on Wednesday, well, I wouldn't. In the harsh light of sobriety, I'm not a fan. Too upright, too clean. There's something missing in her big voice, and that something is called soul. However, I'm routinely amazed by Dion, 41, and her sales clout. For being frosty and obtuse, she's a fabu saleswoman. She has sold some 200-million albums worldwide, and her ticket sales are just as mighty. I know she has my Aunt Shirley hooked. So although I won't see her here, a LOT of people will. Now, about that bail money . . .

Celine Dion performs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa. $46.75-$150. (813) 301-2500.

Sean Daly, Times pop music critic

Celine Dion and her big voice play the St. Pete Times Forum Jan. 28 01/21/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 21, 2009 3:30am]
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