Britney Spears edged closer to the debut of her two-year Las Vegas residency show - Britney: Piece of Me - with a thundering invitation-only preview at Planet Hollywood's The Axis theater Thursday.
In an 85-minute run-through for casino industry workers, the 32-year-old pop siren set the stage for Friday's official debut by blasting through nearly two-dozen songs with ferocious intensity, making full use of a 100-foot stage, some 60 video projectors and incessant costume changes.
Typical of the extravaganza was Spears' rendition of Toxic, which found her leaping off a massive tree into thin air (thanks to wires) while surrounded by dancers dressed like creatures straight out of Avatar (who writhed around in a veil of falling raindrops).
A contrasting moment was provided by the singer's more simple treatment of Me Against the Music, featuring Spears in silhouette with a fedora on her head, a deliberate tip of the hat to Thriller-era Michael Jackson.
USA Today contributed to this report.