When we say ‘Las Vegas’ to you, we imagine the first thing you think of is casinos. Vegas is called ‘Sin City’ for a reason, and the huge, opulent casinos are a big part of the reputation it has for being a playground of adult entertainment. The next thing that would probably come to mind after the casino is the shows, and there’s one type of show that always goes down a storm in this part of Nevada.
We are, of course, talking about magic shows. Concerts and performances by the world’s biggest stars come and go, but magic seems to stay in Vegas forever. This is the greatest place in the world to come if you want to have your mind-blown by incredible illusions and seemingly impossible tricks. It’s not a case of which magicians you should go and see – it’s a case of working out which magicians to leave out!
We’d be happy to help you in that regard. We’ve looked at the roster of entertainers currently in casino city, and we’ve identified the magicians we feel are currently at the peak of their powers. Some of them even perform inside the casinos, blending magic and gambling together as flawlessly as the ‘Vegas Magic’ mobile slots game does. That mobile slots game on website like Rose Slots is as popular as it is because it plays on the idea that Vegas puts casino thrills and trickery side by side in perfect harmony. It’s great as a metaphor, but ultimately there’s no mobile slots game in the world that can compare to seeing what Vegas has to offer with your own eyes – so don’t miss out on the chance!
Piff The Magic Dragon
Britain’s Piff The Magic Dragon may not be as big a name as some of the other magical performers in Vegas, but his reputation is growing all the time. He’s been performing for years, but got his big break through appearances on reality television shows, wowing audiences on both ‘Penn and Teller: Fool Us,’ and ‘America’s Got Talent.’ Somewhat bizarrely, he’s also toured with rock bands. Despite the fact that he comes on stage dressed as a dragon and has a wicked line in comedy, this magician is no clown. He was voted ‘Close Up Magician of the Year’ twice by the Magic Circle in 2008 and 2011, and he’s so gifted with conjuring tricks that even his pet chihuahua Mr. Piffles sometimes gets in on the action. If anything, the absurd costume distracts you from just how complicated some of his illusions are – and that’s why they’re so amazing when he pulls them off.
To a casual observer, it’s hard to discern the difference in skill between one great magician and another. To that end, we have to listen to the opinions of other magicians to find out who’s really at the top of the pile. Here’s David Copperfield’s biggest selling point: Penn and Teller consider him to be the greatest of all time. That should tell you everything about the level that he works on. Well, that and the fact that he once made the Statue of Liberty disappear. The majority of his tricks are timeless magical classics – sawing someone in half, for example – but nobody does it with as much drama, theater, and flair as Copperfield. When he walks through a wall right in front of your eyes, your understanding of physics will evaporate.
Penn & Teller
As we’ve already mentioned Penn Jillette and his literally-silent partner Teller twice, we should include them on our ‘must-see’ list. When you’ve worked together for more than forty years, as these two gentlemen have, you develop a completely unique partnership that nobody else can rival. Penn & Teller together on stage is sheer poetry, and their tricks are still as mystifying as they ever were. They’ve been entertaining crowds at the Rio Hotel & Casino since the 1980s, and they show no signs of stopping. We hope they get tipped a few casino chips in return for their efforts – although we suspect that master card magician Penn is probably banned! Even when these guys tease you by half-explaining how they achieve some of their illusions, you’ll still be left in disbelief.
A few years ago, Criss Angel was the single hottest magic act on television. He seemed to cool off and disappear, but like everything else he does, that was just an illusion. He simply did what all great magicians do, and took up a long-term residency in Vegas. If you liked Angel’s TV schtick, you’ll get more of the same here. The gothic-style performer combines magic and horror to excellent effect. Sometimes, convincing you that the trick has gone wrong is itself part of the trick, so don’t be fooled when he seems to scream in pain. You also shouldn’t be fooled by all the blood you’ll see on the stage. We’re led to believe that the stunts Angel performs are genuinely dangerous, so one of these days, it might go wrong for him – but it hasn’t happened yet!
If you’d prefer to see a magic show that just screams ‘Las Vegas,’ then you’ll want to get yourself a ticket to Nathan Burton’s Comedy Magic Show, which has been lighting up the strip for almost 20 years. Burton brings you every cliche you’d expect from the location – bright lights, loud music, dancing girls in costumes, and risque jokes. The show will probably never win any awards for originality, but when the basics are done this well that scarcely matters. Beneath the well-rehearsed patter and all the distractions, Burton is a mechanically excellent magician, capable of some staggering flourishes that will leave you wide-eyed. Just when you think he’s completed a pretty good trick, he’ll show you a plot twist and make the whole thing ten times better!
Are there other magicians plying their trade in Vegas? Of course there are. Are any of them as good as the five acts we’ve listed here? Not for our money – and we don’t say that likely. You can never be too careful with your money in Sin City!