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Freaky Friday / Vegas On Film / Burt Wonderstone / Vegas Movies / Steve Carell / Fremont Street / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / → All Tags
Has it really been almost a year since big-time film stars actually walked among us? No, not the cast of that Liberace movie or Hangover 3. But, "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone." Yes, in those far off innocent days of January 2012, Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde and James Gandolfini were all over The Strip and downtown filming a madcap magicians comedy.
Magic / Magicians / Freaky Friday / Amazing Johnathan / Bally's / Quitting Vegas / Sad Vegas / → All Tags
The Amazing Johnathan is quitting Vegas.
A long-running Vegas mainstay, Johnathan recently began a residency at Bally's. But, he's giving up after reportedly receiving no love from Caesars Entertainment when it came to letting folks know he was actually there.
Johnathan let fans know about his decision via his Facebook page early this morning:
Freaky Friday / Magic / Magicians / Tommy Wind / Clarion / Boulevard Theater / Seth Grabel / Royal House / → All Tags
We were the first to tell you about the new Boulevard Theater opening on The Strip. And, we've been checking back to see when their roster of talent would be packing them in.
We see that Barbra and Frank: The Concert That Never Was, the Sinatra and Streisand tribute show is up and running. But, magician Tommy Wind's debut has now been delayed until November 23, according to the theater's website. With two shows a night, that's quite a void for a few weeks. Tommy Wind was previously performing at the Clarion, but we heard rumors he was very eager for a show on The Strip. And, we think we've discovered why.
Magicians / Magic Shows / Paul Vigil / King Ink / The Mirage / Freaky Friday / → All Tags
We’re going to re-introduce you to the finest entertainment deal on the strip. Paul Vigil performs only one hour a week, to a very limited audience and doesn’t charge a dime. It’s free. No ticket, no cover and no hard sell to even buy a drink.
And it’s still the best hour of mystery you’ll see on your trip. Your defenses will be down as there’s nothing to lose. Good. Paul’s already one step ahead of you.
Surprisingly based at The Mirage’s tattoo parlor/lounge King Ink, it’s been over a year since VegasChatter raved about Vigil’s residency. In the meantime, Penn Jillette hailed it as one of his absolute favorite shows of 2011.
There’s a simple premise. A quiet, well dressed deceiver will use familiar props to mess with your mind and confound you badly. It’s not flashy or loud and it's family-friendly. He’ll not embarrass the participants and won’t pander for your applause. Using cards, coins, small props and a local phone book, the concept is to try to read your mind, or counter natural laws of physics and common sense.
It’s hard out there for a magician.
Las Vegas is still the mecca and magnet for anyone with a pack of cards and lifelong dream to perform illusions. But, even big names sometimes have trouble pulling an audience away from our enormous array of entertainment options.
The magician’s revue, Avant Garde, recently closed at The Plaza before we even had a chance to review it and despite a gaggle of top-tier performers. The remaining magicians must steal customers away from rivals who have bigger illusions or the multi-million dollar budgets of Cirque and company. The key is personality, a lot of hustle and making a niche for oneself. Seth Grabel's solution is to be himself and hope, for now, that you’ve heard of a little show called "America’s Got Talent."
Freaky Friday / Tommy Wind / Clarion Las Vegas / Seth Grabel / Royal Resort / America's Got Talent / Avant Garde / The Plaza / Magic and Mayhem / Saxe Theater / Miracle Mile / Family-Friendly Vegas / → All Tags
Fridays may not have been as Freaky as of late, but give magic props to Vegas performers for playing catchup. Today's Freaky Friday unwraps lots of new tricks around Las Vegas where the common theme is magic... and other "stuff".
Tommy Wind at the Clarion
One of Vegas' youngest headliner at 21, Tommy Wind has created Impact -- an explosion of magic and music -- along with martial arts and dancing that presumably didn't fit in the banner. He is one of the youngest magicians to have earned the title of Master Illusionist. At the show, he'll play some guitar, float a guitar, bang the drums, and make those drums disappear.
Tommy once made one JetBlue flight attendant's flight at 36,000 feet so magical, she still has the pictures. He promises to bring his biggest, most original illusions (and music?) to the ground in Vegas.
Add a little more variety to your Las Vegas magic fix. After a series of soft openings, Vegas Magic Theatre at the Gold Coast has officially been revealed. Created by British producer Paul Stone, and hosted by his son Ben, this new mix of specialty acts, songs and a ever-changing cast of very talented magicians, is a shift away from the usual one-person headliner. Seventy minutes and at an affordable price ($14.95 -- you'll probably spend more on the cab ride), it runs five times a week, and strives to create a completely different show each week.
The format is similar to Hollywood's Magic Castle, combining unfamiliar names, with performers you might just have heard of, or whose pedigree is strong enough for you give the show a whirl. Working in this type of smaller room encourages more audience interactions than a larger illusion act and the roster of magicians have been chosen for their experience in understanding the challenges of an intimate space. Illusions are possible, just not ones involving vanishing cars or helicopters.
Freaky Friday / Stephane Vanel / Paris / Magic / Magicians / Openings / Criss Angel / → All Tags
Concentrate on the face, not the show
Oh. Dear. It was only a few weeks ago that we were looking forward to the launch of the latest Strip magic show, Stephane Vanel at Paris, and not only because he looks like a gloriously fine figure of a man. At the time, we said:
The show will center around Vanel’s sleight of hand, but also include marionettes and dancers, so it should be spectacular, whether spectacularly awful or brilliant we shall soon find out.
Well, sadly, we appear to have our answer: spectacularly awful.
Full disclosure: we haven’t yet seen the show. However, two of our friends have, and both of whom, who were predisposed to like it, said it was unbelievably, head-hanging-in-shame bad. One of them said to us, “You know how Peepshow isn’t very good* but it works because Holly’s in it and she’s pretty? Well, this totally plays off the fact that the man doing the magic is beautiful, except it doesn’t work. At all.”
Why not? Because, according to our friend, there isn’t as much actual magic as should be in a magic show. The magic, showgirls and marionettes are, she reckons, pretty much accorded as much time as each other. And when Vanel does do his stuff, she says, because it’s sleight of hand, it’s not an ideal kind of magic to be watching on stage – you need to be up close.
Freaky Friday / Magic / Magicians / Mac King / → All Tags
Too bad remaining 49 states, this special is just for California.
Mac King is making half of his ticket price vanish for all Californians for the summer. If you have a Golden State ID, make it appear at Harrah's Box Office to get tix to this wholesome family fave for $14.95, plus tax, through August.
Mac King performs Tuesday through Saturday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. You can already find him on our list of five magic shows to watch in Vegas.
There have been dark days in the land of Vegas magic over the past 18 months or so, but something (our mindreading skills? psychic intuition?) tells us that things may be on the turn. Not only do we have new magic show after new magic show being announced, but this week comes word that magic is being used as a way to entice people into a possibly struggling show.
Piano! Las Vegas is adding a “rotating cast of comedy-magicians” to open the show and return halfway through. They will, according to the guff:
Perform a variety of astounding magic tricks that will leave the audience bursting at the seams with laughter.
Our only problem is that we have a problem with comedy magicians, in that they’re not usually very comedy, and they’re rarely great at magic, either. So this idea sounds a little grim to our ears.
Another new magic show opening in Vegas? Why yes! This one’s at the Clarion, but we won’t hold that against it.
It’s the turn of Jan Rouven (no, sadly not Jan Ravens, the UK impressionist), who, according to the blurb, is a “world-renowned Master Illusionist” and comes “direct from Europe.” The show will be called Illusions and will consist of, surprise surprise, illusions, albeit “performed with debonair charm and a handsome smile”.
Take, for example, levitation, as done in this video, and a Water Tank. His other signature tricks, according to his Facebook page, include burning saws, jet turbines and 7m drills. Although we doubt many of them will be on display at the Clarion. There will, however, be a rocking soundtrack featuring the likes of Adele and Katy Perry. Nice!
At least he’s better looking than Criss Angel
Two of our big loves in life: Vegas magicians and David ‘Dr Who’ Tennant. Putting them together? It makes us feel a little funny.
And that’s exactly what’s happening in the remake of Fright Night, where he’ll play Peter Vincent, a “leather-and-eyeliner Vegas magician modeled after Criss Angel” according to Pop Matters. Which reminds us of another big love of ours: poking fun at Criss Angel. Sounds like this is going to be our kind of film.
According to PM, although Colin Farrell’s the headliner, Tennant’s going to be the breakout star of the film. Go Vegas, go Vegas magic. And set your calendars for its release date, August 19.