Thursday, January 27, 2011


Last night, we went to the Rio to see Penn & Teller, an offbeat magic, comedy act with a whole lot of audience participation. In person, they resemble Mutt & Jeff. Teller is short and Penn is six foot seven. Teller is mute on stage so Penn talked the audience through some pretty amazing stunts, all the while explaining that slight of hand, magic, psychics, mind readers, are all fakes. Penn tells you how dishonest and untrustworthy magic can be because people are vulnerable and can be scammed by them. Then they demonstrate their magic art, mind reading and psychic talents. They also reveal how much of it is done. That is, he takes the old stand-by acts, like sawing a lady in half, and showing you how its done. Then, he gives it a bit of a twist unlike any sawing a lady in half done before. It was a fun show.
No pictures are allowed during the show, but people were invited to come on stage and examine a typical box before the show and sign their names on an envelope.  Probably a hundred people, including myself checked it out. Some guys got inside of the box, tapped and probed, opened and closed and tried to figure out what was different about this box. It stays on stage within view of the audience at all times. When the show opens, Teller pops out of the box.
Pictures are allowed in the lobby and before and after the show. They've been playing Vegas at the Rio for ten years. They make political statements and do unusual things that keep it interesting. My favorite skit was the cellphone taken from a sucker in the audience onstage that ends up inside of a fish in the audience.
This is Teller.
This is Penn. They greet the audience as everyone leaves the theater and autograph your tickets or program if you wish. They bought their own airport security metal detector. Penn can get you through security with a machine gun. Check it out!

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