Entertainment » Theatre

Penn & Teller

by Blake French
Contributor
Tuesday Jul 29, 2008
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Believe it or not, Penn & Teller have been performing together now for over three decades. The comic duo, as always, entertains audiences old and young with a refreshing blend of magic and comedy. Given their fan base and tendency to get a little wild, it was only a time before they ended up in Sin City. Currently, they are living in Las Vegas and have a multi-year contract at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.

The comedians have set themselves apart from their competition with their everyman personas. Penn and Teller see themselves as "a couple of eccentric guys who have learned how to do a few cool things" and are never afraid to prove that they are down-to-earth folks. Before the show, Penn plays jazz with a group of musicians on stage. After the show, they both mingle with fans outside the theatre, welcoming autographs and photographs. Be sure to bring your camera!

Fresh from the success of Showtime’s popular television series "Penn and Teller: Bullshit," Penn and Teller maintain the signature style they established back in 1975; Penn demonstrates his class-clown personality and hosts the show while Teller remains silent. As Penn explains early in the show, their Vegas act is a combination of new and old material, and they frequently mix it up.

Penn Jillette frequently bashes other Vegas magicians, fortunetellers, and pranksters for taking the "easy" way out of a magic trick. After revealing how the other guys do a trick, he then turns around and does it Penn & Teller style. Of course, even when they know how a trick is performed, Penn and Teller manage to bewilder, amaze, and further confuse the audience.

Their best tricks get a little wild. One involves Penn memorizing the sequence of nails inside a nail gun. Some cartridges are blank, others are not. From time to time, he puts the nail gun to his neck and pulls the trigger. He does this while chatting with the audience. Penn & Teller’s craziest gag involves sawing a woman in half; their variation on the classic magic trick reaches a level of psychosis that most magicians don’t dare approach.

Penn & Teller perform nightly at 9pm at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, 3700 West Flamingo Road. Dark Fridays. Tickets prices start at $75. Call 888 746 7784 or visit www.pennandteller.com.

Blake French has worked for 9ine Magazine, OC Drinks! Magazine, In the Scene Magazine, Lansing Community Newspapers, Laguna Beach Independent, L.A. Alternative Press, and Backstage West. He’s a regular contributor to 944 Magazine and a staff writer at Filmcritic.com.

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