Enjoy Celebrity Radio’s Review Penn And Teller Rio Las Vegas…..
Penn & Teller are the bad boys of magic. The anti-magicians who push the boundaries and laugh in the face of ‘the rabbit out of the hat’ illusionists.
Stars of ‘Fool Us’ (on the CW in the US and C5 in the UK), Penn & Teller’s TV show and Specials are very different to the Live show.
On TV Penn & Teller have a warmth, wit, timing and charm. On stage they’re (Penn) is more cutting edge, irreverent and political. Here lies the problem….
This unique duo have a strange shtick in which Penn does the talking and Teller steals the show with his stunning technical brilliance, precision and prowess.
I loved the TV show but having just sat through 90 minutes of ‘Penn & Teller’ Live, I left deflated and disappointed.
Here’s the problems, Penn is a brilliant intellect and raconteur, however, we don’t care – we just want fabulous illusions and 5* magic….
Penn & Teller were a smash hit on Broadway and on tour last year. I’m not surprised.
In Las Vegas, they celebrate 21 years as headliners, but the lack of audience enthusiasm, reaction and standing ovation is concerning.
You see the Vegas aren’t East Coast or West End – they need all killer….tempus fugit.
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The 1,475 seater P&T Theater was packed on an average Tuesday in Vegas. Their global appeal is undeniable.
The “Bad Boys of Magic,” are without question incredibly clever and talented….but collectively too sophisticated for their own good….especially in Sin City, or at least during the performance to which I was invited.
This is sad – I want to rave about these two mavericks & innovators.
Equally, I applaud the fact they meet and greet the fans after the show without tacky merchandise plugs or any agenda.
Where I was disappointed was the delivery and content of the show. Ultimately, that is how I have to judge them.
I would like to think I’m of average intelligence but there were parts of the show I just lost the plot….and interest. I had absolutely no idea what Penn was talking about.
There’s the most bizarre bit, ‘balloons’, which frankly I did not understand a word of.
Penn’s laborious, endless and indulgent monologue was unintelligible in my opinion trying to score a political point that I didn’t understand.
My guest and those around me were equally confused, bemused and bewildered. Surely this is not the point of a magic show.
Penn used the word ‘avant-garde’ twice in the show. That sums up this production. Too clever and arty for me and the average punter.
Taking cheap shots at Criss Angel (an arguably more success artist right now) is disappointing, unnecessary and most importantly unedifying for Stars of such credibility and greatness.
Just be funny and brilliant….not a smart arse with arty delivery and mind-boggling theatrics.
Sadly, the new finale leaves you cold with a convoluted ‘sandwich animal traps’ routine. Again, so much talking that my ears were bleeding.
Teller admirably played along but as both P&T left the stage, theatre and show to little applause and no standing ovation, it all just seemed to fizzle out quietly.
Such a shame & surprise considering their previous ‘gun’ finale which left the crowd stunned, shocked and excited.
Here’s the problem. Magicians should be magicians. The only memorable and incredible parts of this show is when Teller does sensational magic like the stunning goldfish/coin trick.
It’s 5* spectacular, clever and breathtakingly beautiful.
Equally when Penn was adlibbing and being ‘himself’, it was glorious. But, akin to Copperfield, when these guys enter into long and ponderous monologues – it’s painfully dull.
Penn & Teller are magical genius’ – so why don’t we get this in the show?
My lesson in Vegas (opposite to Broadway / London) is that script is king.
The reason we feel Criss Angel has the best magic show by a mile in Las Vegas is that it’s all killer no filler. The obsessions that people have in the business about his show is irrelevant – he’s a master entertainer who gives the audience what they want. It’s apparent to me that P&T could learn from this.
The Vegas minute is twice as quick as New York and London. Why? Because the shows are half the length. Cut the crap and give us spectacular magic. We really don’t care how you feel or what you think – we just want to be amazed.
I’m so disappointed to write this review. P&T’s TV specials are brilliant. Fool Us is great entertainment but their Vegas show left me bored and cold. PLEASE re-think the tone – I beg you. You’re better than this.
2* show with rare 5* moments from Teller.
This show (for me) is the biggest anti-climax on the strip after my private late night moments in Belfield’s boudoir.
Review by Alex Belfield for Celebrity Radio 22nd May 2016.