Tag: Magic

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Now At The Riv: Big Cats And Classic Vegas Cheese

Where: 2901 Las Vegas Blvd. South [map], 89109
December 5, 2014 at 7:21 PM | by | Comments (0)

It’s out with the old and in with the new as Riviera gets an updated entertainment lineup. Jan Rouven has moved on to the Trop while the new magician taking his spot isn’t actually new to the Vegas scene.

Dirk Arthur has played all around town in venues at Silverton, Tropicana, Plaza and O’Shea’s. Most recently, he’s been playing in Laughlin and Reno and has weathered some criticism about how he keeps his animals. He’s gotten up to code and is now back in town with his Wild Illusions, featuring his signature big cats, along with some other critters.

The self-avowed conservationist and animal lover runs a brief video during the performance to show a bit about how he trains the massive and endangered animals he uses in his performance. It’s a wonder the Riv can handle the insurance such wild animals must add to the cost of a show, but they’re all securely leashed during the performance and Arthur does have decades of training experience.

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Murray Sawchuck To Reappear On Vegas Strip

November 13, 2014 at 12:24 PM | by | Comments (4)

After being bumped from Tropicana, comedian-slash-magician Murray Sawchuck looks to be having the last laugh.

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Tropicana Nabs Two Familiar Shows To Bolster Entertainment Offerings

Where: 3801 Las Vegas Blvd. S. [map], 89109
September 24, 2014 at 7:51 PM | by | Comments (3)

In the constant trading war that is the Las Vegas show scene, Tropicana has scored two new shows, one from Westgate and one from Riviera.

Raiding the Rock Vault has seen its ups and downs at LVH Westgate. Las Vegas Sun’s John Katsilometes has followed the saga as one of the show’s creators, Asia frontman and bassist John Payne, was given the glam rock boot this summer by fellow Raiding the Rock Vault producer Harry Cowell. Other performers have come and gone over the show’s run. Of course, many of them were only contracted for short stints, but several of the more longstanding performers have had their contracts come to early ends.

Tonight will be the last performance of Raiding the Rock Vault, according to Westgate hotel officials. If you’re unfamiliar with the show, it’s a literal rock of ages, as in it takes guests through a rock’n’roll odyssey with a sampling of hits from the various eras. All the music is performed live by musicians and singers who used to make up the likes of bands such as Bon Jovi, the aforementioned Asia, LA Guns, The Offspring, Heat, Deep Purple, Quiet Riot, and many others. You might think it’s like a pre-retirement home for washed-up rockers, but this writer didn’t find that to be true. I’ve seen the show several times and was always impressed by the level of musicianship. The odd storyline the show struggled to incorporate seemed a little cumbersome, but the music was great. I’ll probably see it again at its new home at Tropicana where it begins November 1.

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On Syfy, It's War For Vegas Wizards

Where: 4700 S Maryland Pkwy #8 [map], 89119
August 18, 2014 at 9:12 PM | by | Comments (3)

Tune in Tuesday to see what these magicians are up to.

Debuting Tuesday, August 19, the SyFy show, Wizard Wars, will be the magic equivalent of Project Runway. The reality series, featuring Vegas magicians and Rio headliners Penn & Teller, will challenge the magically inclined to "come up with magic made from things you’d never expect.” Sounds like a fun "unconventional" challenge on a certain aforementioned show, right? Well, make it work designers.. umm.. magicians.

Penn & Teller serve as celebrity judges and executive producers of the competition-style show and the show's online description sums it up neatly:

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Las Vegas Wizards Appearing On Syfy This August

June 18, 2014 at 7:37 PM | by | Comments (0)

Shimshi, Greg Wilson, Angela Funovitz, Rick Lax, and Justin Flom (right to left)

Back in February, a war on wizards was declared. Or, at least, a show called Wizard Wars was uncovered. You can read all the details here but the Cliff Notes version is it's a Syfy Channel magic-themed reality show pitting teams of two against each other in competitions based around the same item. Think Iron Chef except the secret ingredient is magic.

Wizard Wars was originally set to premiere in March, but was pushed back to a later date. We now have a few more details, including the new airdate. First, six episodes were filmed with lots of Las Vegas connections. Penn and Teller are judges while local talent Justin Flom and Shimshi star as the wizards which, in this case, are the "Iron Chefs" of the show and will be the home-team magicians that contestants will compete against.

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Vegas' Own Smoothini's Got Talent, Advances In NBC Competition

June 11, 2014 at 6:33 PM | by | Comments (3)

We told you if you didn't know who Smoothini was, you were about to find out.

Last night, the Vegas bar magician was featured on NBC's America's Got Talent and blew away all four judges with his close-up sleight of hand. Howie, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howard Stern each weighed in with a yes vote sending the self-called "Ghetto Houdini" onto the next phase of the reality competition. The former Marine tells VegasChatter he was confident that he would move on and that it was the reaction of the audience that really moved him. If you missed it, here's his appearance:

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Don't Know Who Smoothini Is? You're About To Find Out

May 27, 2014 at 12:02 PM | by | Comment (1)

Back in 2011, we declared him a magical must see in Vegas. Three years later, that still holds true. Smoothini the Ghetto Houdini is one of the best acts on The Strip. Unfortunately, you've probably never heard of him.

That will change in a very big way as America (ahem) is about to see just how talented (Ahem) Tomas de la Cruz is when it comes to magic. The former Marine recently auditioned for a major television competition and, let's just say, we will all need to show him our support to make sure he's got (AHEM) this.

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Classic Magic At The Riviera With Illusions

Where: 2901 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
April 23, 2014 at 1:47 PM | by | Comments (0)

Recently, we told you of our affection for the Riviera. We’ve appreciated its old-school charm and vintage-Vegas vibe enough to stay there three more times since January. Even if you prefer to stay elsewhere you should still drop in to experience one of their best offerings, Jan Rouven’s Illusions.

These days, it’s tough for aging Vegas properties to remain appealing. Shiny facelifts will only take you so far (cough...Tropicana... cough) and you can throw just so much at the wall, hoping for something to stick. Downtown’s Plaza has been the worst at that approach, with their mini-golf nightspot Swinger's Club and lingerie-themed Exposed Salon both gone and forgotten. And, that three-month-old Bier Garten has barely caused a ripple.

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Las Vegas Wizards To Declare War In New Syfy Special

February 13, 2014 at 5:50 PM | by | Comments (2)

Syfy viewers might recognize a couple of familiar Las Vegas faces on the new show Wizard Wars debuting March 4. The new magic-themed reality show will pit two-person teams of magicians against each other in a unique competition. Unlike open-format TV talent shows, this one has a twist. Competitors will try to one-up each other by creating tricks based upon the same item.

Magician and Wizard Wars creator Rick Lax said some of the more unique items that tricks were created around included a human skeleton and pink footie pajamas. Lax came up with the idea based upon meet-ups he routinely had with magician friends where they would do various tricks with the same prop. He figured the process of perfecting these tricks might be just as interesting as the end result, and Syfy agreed.

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Superstars of Magic To Reappear Downtown

July 15, 2013 at 7:42 PM | by | Comments (4)

Holly Madison once called it her favorite Vegas production and now, after a three-year absence, it's about to work its magic on downtown again.

Superstars of Magic first poofed popped up on the Downtown Vegas scene in early 2009 when it debuted at Las Vegas Club. Magician Steven Best and assistant Cassandra weren't able to mesmerize audiences for long, though; the show closed the following year.

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Michael Turco's Magic & Mayhem Moves From Strip To Summerlin

February 12, 2013 at 4:12 PM | by | Comment (1)

We're not sure if we've discovered a trend or if all magic roads are currently leading to the Vegas suburb of Summerlin. In December, we alerted you to former Strip magician Rick Thomas's return to the Vegas scene. And, he chose to stage two gigs off-Strip at the Suncoast. Right next door, at the Rampart Casino we just discovered that magician Michael Turco will be performing February 15 in the Grand Ballroom.

Turco's Magic & Mayhem show was recently an afternoon show at the Saxe Theater in Planet Hollywood's Miracle Mile Shops. A former America's Got Talent contestant, Turco left his PH spot in October. And in the unusual, but predictably musical chair world of magicians, Nathan Burton moved from the Flamingo to take his place in the Saxe Theater. Still keeping up? Nathan Burton was also a former America's Got Talent contestant.

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Amazing Johnathan Says Goodbye To Vegas

December 21, 2012 at 10:48 AM | by | Comments (2)

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:

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