By Rick Carruth
There is no better place on earth to watch a magic show than among the lights of Las Vegas. Glitz and glamour abound. The most skilled magicians in the world make their way through Las Vegas at one time or another. Some thrill and move on to other venues, others stay and perform on an almost daily basis. They cover almost every genre of magic, from the full illusions of David Copperfield to the parlor magic and humor of Mac King.
This article is not about who I think you should see, but instead a directory of sorts to guide you to the performers who are best suited for your preference and budget.
David Copperfield performs almost nightly at the MGM Grand. He is the epitome of Las Vegas magic – Big, grand, glitzy, and the Best at what he does. Anyone of any age can appreciate his shows and will leave inspired. Expect to spend some money, as watching the Best will cost the most.
Penn and Teller perform at the Rio, and are not to be missed by adults who want to be truly fooled and entertained. I would recommend this show for the entire family, but Penn is known to drop the ‘F’ bomb from time to time, so I would rate this show a definite ‘PG’. Again, tickets are not cheap, but well worth the cost.
Criss Angel’s ‘Believe’ performs several times a week at the Luxor. Although this show didn’t open to great reviews, I understand Criss has increased the number of illusions dramatically and I am starting to hear that the Criss Angel that wowed a nation on TV is back and going strong. If you are a Criss Angel fan I would expect you to be extremely satisfied with the new look of ‘Believe’. Should be suitable for the whole family.
The Amazing Johnathan performs at Planet Hollywood and his wild brand of magic is definitely for Adults. Magic is simply a tool Johnathan employs to make you laugh for the duration of the show. The virtual non-stop humor makes this one of the most watched shows in Vegas.
Gerry McCambridge, the Mentalist, also performs at Planet Hollywood. I would recommend finding another activity for the kids, as Gerry is a very cerebral performer who’s mentalism is probably beyond the average child. Adults will ‘get it’ and appreciate the enormous skill and professionalism displayed by ‘the Mentalist’.
The Magic and Tigers of Rick Thomas rocks the Sahara. Rick carries on the tradition of the enormously popular Siegfred and Roy, using large and beautiful creatures to add a spice and flair to his shows. This show is a perennial favorite of the Las Vegas magic lover. Suitable for the entire family.
The Mac King Comedy Magic Show at Harrah’s is the Best Deal for the money in Vegas. Call the box office and ask for special pricing. You can find good tickets for less than twenty bucks. Mac is a really, really funny guy. A couple of his effects border slightly on risque’, but in a way that will make the average ‘kid’ feel as if you trust them to watch and appreciate the performance. I wouldn’t hesitate to take anyone from ten years old and beyond.
The Nathan Burton Comedy Show at the Flamingo is a great way for a family to spend the afternoon in Las Vegas. The star of World’s Greatest Magic on NBC; World’s Wildest Magic on NBC; America’s Got Talent; Miami Ink; and VH1’s Surreal Life is often called the ‘hardest working magician in Vegas..’. Full of illusions and show girls, this show will definitely be one of the highlights of your Las Vegas trip.
Although not all of the magicians currently performing in Vegas are listed, there are several web sites detailing many other performers and shows currently appearing in Las Vegas and the surrounding area. Magicians contact these sites regularly with their latest information and links to their venues as times, dates, and details are constantly changing. Do your homework before leaving for Vegas, as some shows sell out early. Enjoy.
Rick Carruth is the editor of the Magic Roadshow, magic’s premier free newsletter. Discover dozens of street magic tips and tricks or sign up for Magic Roadshow at: http://streetmagic.info. For more info on Las Vegas magic shows, visit http://lasvegasmagicshows.info for details. Site is updated every month with the latest info, times, dates, and links.
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Photo by Boon Lee – Used under creative commons license.