Britney Spears puts on "Circus" for comeback tour

Wed Mar 4, 2009 5:21pm EST
 
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By Kathy Finn

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Britney Spears kicked off her first tour in five years on Tuesday, promoting her latest hit album "Circus" before an adoring hometown audience with jugglers, acrobats, rings of flame and lip syncing.

"Britney's my girl. I knew she'd be great," said Chris Peterson, 28, who drove to New Orleans from Pensacola, Florida, for the concert. "I've been a fan since I was 14."

The pop star, attempting a comeback after a high-profile meltdown, pulled out all the stops before a sell-out crowd of 16,400 to launch her much-anticipated world tour.

Spears, 27, became a worldwide phenomenon when she burst onto the music scene 10 years ago after breaking into show business on the "Mickey Mouse Club" television show.

But she has done only a handful of live concerts in recent years as her personal life careered out of control, including stints in psychiatric care, an ugly divorce, losing custody of her two sons, shaving her head and partying without panties.

Back on stage, Spears looked fit and dazzling dressed as a ringmaster as she performed more than a dozen songs in a parade of skimpy costumes.

The launch of her 44-concert tour, which heads to Britain in June, was heavy on spectacle and was met with wild applause and cheers.

The circus-themed production featured Spears strutting and gyrating through extravagant sets on three stages, surrounded by dancers, martial artists and performers who dropped from the rafters on fabric streamers and mechanical rings.   Continued...

 
<p>Britney Spears performs on ABC's "Good Morning America" in New York, December 2, 2008. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>