The difference between little league baseball and the major leagues is huge, but the sport itself is essentially the same. The difference between teenagers performing magic tricks and a big budget Las Vegas illusion show is so vast, they don’t even belong under the same umbrella of magic. When you travel to Sin City, take a couple hours off and suspend belief. Top magicians are amazing, entertaining, and thought provoking. These are some of our favorites.
Five nights a week at the Rio this entertaining duo plays an act that they have been perfecting since 1975. In Vegas since 1993, and at the Rio for 15 years, the Emmy Award winners have appeared on David Letterman, had a regular TV show, and been named Comedians of the Year. Penn is bigger than life and never shuts up, Teller is tiny and never talks. Together they are funny, intelligent, creative, and a hoot for all ages to watch perform.
While Penn & Teller feel like your awesome next door neighbors, Copperfield has the aura of an international superstar. Twice a night he performs at the MGM after years of TV specials and tours. He holds 11 Guinness World Records, has sold more tickets than any solo entertainer in history, has won 21 Emmy Awards, and was knighted by the French government. The show is illusion at it’s best: a big-budget performance with lights, music, and mystery. You’ll leave with a clear understanding why he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Just because the show that plays twice each afternoon at Harrah’s is an incredible value, it doesn’t mean the humor is cheap as well. The fact it is, King’s show is great family entertainment. Tickets go for $35 but you can often find coupons for half that price. King is a seasoned performer who has long been a regular on late night TV. He’s genuine, willing to sign autographs after the show, and the tricks are exactly what you want; sharp enough to make you wonder, easy enough to seem possible, and exciting enough to beg the question, how did he do that?
If you are familiar with his TV show Mindfreak on A&E then you’ll have a pretty good idea what this twice a night show at the Luxor is like. The performance is big on special effects with LED lighting and RGB laser explosions. There are 3-D graphics, live musicians and pyrotechnics. The illusions are elaborate and mystifying. Fans of Angel will love this show, and those who are unfamiliar with him will find it unique and addicting.
“The Mentalist” has been a winning act for three decades, but for the last 10 years, McCambridge has been making his home at the Bellagio’s V Theater. He’s performed for Howard Stern, Donald Trump, and Larry David. He is the idea behind the TV series that combines a mentalist and a detective (his dad was a detective in New York). Part psychic, part ham, McCambridge has a unique show that is a great night out for groups and couples that want to see something different.
(Photo Credit: Angela George [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
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