Tag: Rick Thomas

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Four Walls And A Dream: Opening a Show In Today’s Vegas (Part 2)

October 18, 2013 at 5:37 PM | by | ()

"The casino realized there are so many entertainers wanting to have a place to perform that they started charging rent for the room. Somewhere along the way, the casinos stopped connecting the dots between the show and the casino."

An empty theater is dead space, and casinos are eager to make it work for them. In the past, a casino had one showroom and one headliner that created a packaged brand. Now, there are dozens of shows, sometimes competing for the same audience. There is no formula to guarantee a hit -- even Cirque du Soleil has failed twice on The Strip in recent years, despite millions of dollars of start-up cash. So, what do you do when you're an unknown talent with a dream of stardom?

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Four Walls And A Dream: Opening A Show In Today’s Vegas (Part 1)

October 17, 2013 at 3:24 PM | by | ()

“Las Vegas show business is a business that has a huge hill to climb before the curtain ever goes up. Wish it would be like the "good old days" when the town was more "organized" and they paid the entertainers...”

Should you care what it takes to put on a show when you just want to be entertained? That depends on your perspective. In an era of music file-sharing, bootleg DVDs, and $30 million movie star salaries, we probably don’t care about the financial well-being of performers. But, live performance is different from listening to the radio. It’s communal -- a shared experience between the entertainers and a group of strangers that come together in the dark. For it to continue, it has to be profitable. Therein lies the challenge of today’s Vegas entertainer. We spoke to six current and former headliners to get a little insight, and they were very candid about the difficulties they face. We aren't mentioning any names, venues or shows to protect their identities.

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Magician Rick Thomas Returns To Vegas Stage, Minus An Old Friend

December 12, 2012 at 7:29 PM | by | ()

Magician Rick Thomas is returning to Las Vegas. But, sadly, missing a long-time partner. Last month, Thomas tweeted the death of his 500-pound white Begal tiger named Samson. The tiger was a main feature of every Rick Thomas show, led into a large box and magically "shrunk." Here's some vintage video of the majestic Samson in action:

Thomas has performed at the Tropicana, Stardust and was the resident magician when the Sahara closed in 2011. Always a family friendly show, the big cats were a big attraction. He's spent the last six months on an Asian tour, but announced his return to Vegas with two performances at the Suncoast with an unexpected update:

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The Tropicana Will Pull Rick Thomas Out of a Hat Starting December 9

Where: 3801 Las Vegas Boulevard [map], 89109
November 28, 2011 at 8:27 PM | by | ()

Just a few weeks after we wondered what the heck had happened to magician Rick Thomas's supposed stint at the Riviera, this bit of news lands in our inbox--"RICK THOMAS TO RETURN TO TROPICANA LAS VEGAS FOR A LIMITED HOLIDAY ENGAGEMENT."

Yes, this holiday season you can now give the gift of magic, Rick Thomas-style, at the Tropicana from December 9-31 in the Tropicana Theater. The Magic of Rick Thomas, the show's official name, will go off every day at 4pm with special double shows at 4pm and 7pm from December 26-31st. General admission is $40 plus tax and VIP seating is available for $50. Tickets can be bought directly from the Trop's website.

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So, What Ever Happened To Rick Thomas Going to the Riv?

November 3, 2011 at 3:45 PM | by | ()

You know who we haven't heard about in a while? Rick Thomas.

After freaking the Sahara one last time back in May and learning from the man himself that he would reappear at the Riviera starting July 1, he just sort of vanished from our minds.

But, now it's November 3rd and Thomas is still doing what was only supposed to be a temporary matinee gig at the Saxe Theater at Planet Hollywood. His website only states that the new show is to be announced "soon," exclamation point.

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Ooh La La! Paris Will Get Some Sexy Magic This Summer

Where: 3655 Las Vegas Blvd S [map], 89109
May 20, 2011 at 11:54 AM | by | ()

Stephane Vanel would be the one on the right. Ignoring those trousers, phwoargh.

Few things (ok, cheap booze deals and days by the pool) make us as happy as new magician blood in Vegas, so we were highly excited to read over on Pulse of Vegas about the new act coming to Paris: Stephane Vanel.

Starting June 1, Vanel will perform The Magic Of Paris Tuesday through Sunday at 4pm and 6pm. And you should take that title literally, because dude was born and raised in Paris (France, not Vegas).

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.

Meanwhile, according to the RJ, Rick Thomas is dropping in to the Saxe Theater daily at 3pm from June 3 until his Riviera show opens in July. He’s taking the place of Zen Magic, which just closed ( ☹ ).

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Rick Thomas Will Freak The Sahara One Last Time Tonight

Where: 2535 Las Vegas Blvd S [map], 89109
May 13, 2011 at 3:18 PM | by | ()

Never take anything for granted in this town, that’s the lesson we learned yesterday. Think you know when a show is closing? Planning to wait till the last night? No, people, no! Get in beforehand, or risk being cruelly robbed.

See, last time we spoke to Rick Thomas he told us that he’d be performing right up until the last night of the Sahara, May 15. So, obviously, we decided we’d go see him Sunday night, for sentimental reasons.

But guess what? Turns out that the Sahara is wanting to close things down early, so his final show will actually be tonight at 7pm. According to the website there are still tickets remaining, so get in there quick if you want to see the tiger magic before it moves to the Riviera. They’re yours for $48 a pop.

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The Sahara May Die But Rick Thomas Will Be Resurrected At The Riviera

Where: 2535 Las Vegas Blvd S [map], 89109
April 15, 2011 at 2:54 PM | by | ()

Thomas and his tigers live another day. Incidentally, in person he looks very like our old boss.

If you were wondering, as we were, what will happen to Rick Thomas when the Sahara closes – and if you were dreading – yes, dreading, as we were – the thought that he may not have a home after May 16, you may breathe easy. The night before last, as we hit up the Nascar Bar for one or three final $1 hot dogs and bumped into none other than the Best Magician In The World (™). And he told us that, only the day before, he had signed to bring his show to the Riviera.

The new show will open July 1, and he will be adding “three or four major pieces” to it. And yes, apparently “major pieces” means animals.

Meanwhile, he’ll be performing right up to the very end of the Sahara – his last show there will be May 15. Not that he’ll be going out with a thanks-Sam-Nazarian bang – he said there won’t be anything out of the ordinary for the last show, other than saying goodbye. Hearing the tales from Sahara employees about how they’ve been treated, we’re not surprised, either.

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Is Rick Thomas Really Coming Back To The Sahara?

Where: 2535 Las Vegas Blvd S [map], 89109
March 4, 2011 at 3:28 PM | by | ()

Is Rick Thomas really coming back to the Sahara?

We know he’s performing in Bermuda at the moment, and we assumed that he’d be back on March 15, as the Sahara website promises.

But then, we keep reading stories that the Sahara is closing, with East Coast Gambler pointing us in the direction of this posting on the Vegas message board, which seems to point heavily to the hotel’s closure, and adds that Striptease the Show and Rick Thomas are both currently “on hiatus”. It’s a theory that seems to hold up – after all, Thomas didn’t magic the Stripteasers to Bermuda with him.

The Sahara website is taking rezzies for the Thomas show from March 16. When we called the box office to confirm this morning, we were told he was back from the 17th. And they swore he would be there, as they offered to take our money.

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Rick Thomas Is Apparently "The Best Magician In The World" (Yes, Even Better Than Criss Angel)

Where: 2535 Las Vegas Blvd S [map], 89109
February 18, 2011 at 6:35 PM | by | ()

We’re totally used to Vegas hyperbole. We know that every time Robin Leach sees "the best show ever", he will see "the betterest show ever" next time he goes out. We know that Criss Angel getting “rave reviews” from Cirque execs and selling out theaters has no correlation with Believe being a halfway decent show. And, of course, we know to discount anything that’s tagged with an #ubernom.

But even so, we were still open-mouthed when we read that Rick Thomas was, apparently, the “best magician in the world”.

The soubriquet apparently was bestowed on him by Millionaire Magazine (surely not this one), as a selling point to a show he’s doing in Bermuda, of all places, on February 25. Which would explain why the Sahara show is dark through March 15. FYI, on the Sahara website, he’s described – again, by Millionaire Mag – as “the best magician in Vegas, period!” Hmm.

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Rick Thomas Brings Old-School Magic to The Sahara

Where: 2535 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
June 23, 2009 at 6:37 PM | by | ()

Known a few years back for his afternoon shows at the Tropicana and the late, great Stardust, magician Rick Thomas is now launching an ongoing gig at the Sahara.

Thomas, who bears a passing resemblance to erstwhile Vegas performer David Hasselhoff (he starred, somewhat preposterously, as the flamboyant director in "The Producers" at Paris a couple of years back), is known for his magic act celebrating old-school Vegas glam, featuring dancing showgirls, white tigers… the whole bit. People who like that sort of thing tended to be "pleasantly surprised" by how much they enjoyed his particular show – likely because he’s not exactly a renowned name outside of Vegas.

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