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Magic / Vegas on TV / Wizard Wars / Penn & Teller / Mac King / Bizzaro / → All Tags
Magical Mondays get a little bizarre this week as the focus of our final installment is on Vegas magician and Wizard Wars” consultant, Bizzaro. When his tagline is “normal is just a setting on the dryer,” it’s clear Bizzaro has his own unique style. Read on for more info on his Vegas career and work with the SyFy show.
VegasChatter: How did you come up with your stage name?
Bizzaro: I actually remember it very distinctly. I was in Austin when I was 13 and my parents were doing some sort of toy show. They used to sell toys at conventions. I was in the bathroom practicing something and I looked in the mirror and said, “That was bizzaro.” It was a light bulb over the head kind of moment and I thought it was a great name. I like to equate it to that scene in “Boogie Nights” when they’re talking about seeing the name in lights. I don’t even know where I heard the word because I didn’t know there was a Superman villain named Bizzaro and I don’t know if the comic book existed at the time, but I didn’t know about it.
Magic / Shimshi / Wizard Wars / Vegas on TV / Mac King / Wynn / Encore / → All Tags
For this installment of Magical Mondays, we’ll get to know another of the Las Vegas magicians on SyFy’s Wizard Wars. Shimshi is a magician who got his start in his native Israel and now performs regularly at corporate events and private gigs at Wynn and Encore. After appearances on America’s Got Talent, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and now Wizard Wars, Shimshi is continuing to develop plans for his own Las Vegas stage show.
Next up in our Magical Mondays series is local magician Justin Flom, one of the wizards in Wizard Wars. He came to Vegas to pursue his dreams of being a magician and now makes a living performing and through his popular YouTube videos (see below). He's even helped fans with marriage proposals on the Las Vegas Strip. Catch him Thursdays on Wizard Wars on Syfy and also February 10 on the "Late Late Show."
VegasChatter: What sparked your interest in magic?
Justin Flom: I grew up in a family of magicians. My dad and my uncle both did magic so from the age of two years old I was jumping in and out of magic boxes for family events and county fairs. Growing up around it, I fell so in love that I just knew it had to be my career. After high school I started traveling around doing shows. As far as what I’m doing now, the focus has changed from just doing live shows to something more. In about 2012, I got to talking with my friend (and Wizard Wars creator) Rick Lax and we started putting out YouTube videos. One was the original Wizard Wars video and another was a card trick that has now been seen by over four million people. That led to my appearance on Ellen’s show and eventually to pitch meetings to get Wizard Wars on the air.
Magic / Suncoast / Wizard Wars / Penn & Teller / Mac King / Vegas on TV / The Strip / Off Strip / → All Tags
Next up in our Magical Mondays series is Las Vegas husband and wife duo, Mistie and Kyle Knight a.k.a. Knight Magic. They can be found performing in the Suncoast's variety show and at Jeff McBride’s Wonderground magic event, plus you can catch them competing on this week’s episode of "Wizard Wars" that airs February 5 on SyFy. Read on to find out more about their careers before you tune in on Thursday night, or decide to track them down in real life.
Vegas on TV / Magic / Wizard Wars / Penn & Teller / The Strip / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / The LINQ / Fremont Street / Fremont Street Experience / → All Tags
Wizard Wars, a magical reality competition series, returns to SyFy January 29 and the first episode will feature a pair of Vegas street performers. Going up against the "wizards" will be Greg Dow and Sean Scott, two performers who make their living entertaining tourists for the most part. While both do corporate and private events, they can also be found regularly on the Strip at The LINQ and Fremont Street. Read on to find out more about their careers before you tune in on Thursday night, or decide to track them down in real life.
VegasChatter: How did you get your start in magic?
Greg Dow: I got a magic set when I was a kid and couldn’t figure it out and got frustrated and then went to video games and didn’t pick it back up until I went to college. I always liked magic. I liked watching it. I bought some magic tricks and brought them back to my friends in college and they started getting impressed. After a few months of doing that, someone asked me to do a show. I did a pretty bad show but it was fun. I learned more magic and, when I moved back to Chicago, I started doing magic in restaurants and enjoyed doing that for awhile while I was working day jobs. I moved out to Vegas about 12 years ago and I started working for one of the big magic shops. I sold magic tricks and taught people how to do magic tricks for about 10 years. About three years ago I stopped that and went to performing full time which makes me much happier.
If you didn’t catch its first season, the premise is much like “Iron Chef.” In the first challenger round, two teams of two magicians take each other on for the rights to do battle with the wizards, who are all more established magicians. Akin to the food show’s secret ingredient, competitors are given certain items they must use in their tricks.
VegasChatter Reviews / Magic Shows / Jan Rouven / Classic Vegas / Shows / Entertainment / Magic / Tropicana / Riviera / Clarion / Vegas Moves / → All Tags
He’s dark, mysterious and speaks in a distinct accent. Known for Goth eye makeup, wild hairstyles, frequent shirtlessness and making things (and himself) disappear, he surrounds himself with sexy dancers and often performs on TV. His magic show at the south end of the Strip is pretty terrific (so you know it's not performed at Luxor). He’s Jan Rouven, the handsome master illusionist from Germany. And, his New Illusions show at Tropicana is taking on Criss Angel head to head. Or, wand-to-wand, if you will.
The Strip / Harrah's / Magic / Afternoon Shows / Mac King / Comedy / Entertainment / Shows / → All Tags
Mac King makes plaid cool. The kooky comedy magician who dresses from head-to-toe in plaid and endorses geriatric fave, Fig Newtons, turns on the charm in his afternoon show at Harrah’s. “The Mac King Comedy Magic Show” was recently extended for four more years, adding to King's 15-year reign at Harrah’s.
You may have the impression that Mac King’s show is a kids show, but the reality is that it’s fun for all ages. As cliché as that sounds, it’s the truth. Having seen the show a few years ago and again recently, I can definitely attest to the fun adults will have, too. Mac’s humor seems to have gotten a bit more adult over the years as he makes references or simply alludes to double entendres and snicker-worthy innuendos.
VegasChatter Reviews / The Strip / Riviera / Shows / Magic / Dirk Arthur / Entertainment / → All Tags
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.
Vegas Moves / Openings / Murray Sawchuck / Tropicana / Planet Hollywood / Sin City Theater / Entertainment / Magic / Comedy / Shows / → All Tags
Shows / Entertainment / Openings / Closings / Tropicana / Riviera / Westgate / Magic / The Strip / Jan Rouven / Raiding The Rock Vault / → All Tags
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.
Vegas on TV / Syfy / Wizard Wars / Magic / Magicians / Penn & Teller / Rio Las Vegas / → All Tags
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: