You shouldn’t decide whether you like magic shows or not until you have seen a big production in Las Vegas. I have always loved magicians and so I inevitably head for one of the shows and I have found that even cynics enjoy the experience. We all know there is no such thing as magic and sometimes we even know how the trick is done but the top performers are so skilled that it is their execution of the art that is so fascinating.
I had long been a fan of the great Lance Burton and so on booking a trip to Vegas I simply had to grab tickets to his show. I must have got in early because my seats were in the front row. I was going to get a rather brilliant view of proceedings and I was counting down the days until the event. When the big day arrived I took my seat right in front of the stage and waited with eager anticipation. I knew most of his tricks and even how many were achieved and so I wasn’t expecting any surprises but what did I know?
The Big Night
When Lance Burton took to the stage he walked forward and immediately started taking to me. I was so shocked I almost didn’t answer! He asked what I was drinking which was, rather embarrassingly, a very large Southern Comfort and from that moment he addressed me as Mrs Southern Comfort for the rest of the show.
I had to laugh because all of Burton’s promotional material featured a handsome looking young man. The reality was a somewhat older individual, still dashing but certainly middle aged! However old he was his performance was smooth, slick and hypnotic and even though I was sitting just a few feet from the action and often knew exactly what he was going to do I still couldn’t see the sleight of hand and transitions. He had a signature trick which he performed at the end of a dance routine where he removed the cloak from one of the dancers and she had disappeared into thin air. I know that she had to have dropped through the floor but she must have done so at supersonic speed as it was all so incredibly quick.
Burton could perform intimate close up magic and grand illusions with equal panache and his delivery was so charming that he had the entire audience in the palm of his hand. I loved the show so much (especially the bit when he spoke to me) that I booked to go again the next time I was in the city. I have seen Siegfried and Roy and Penn and Teller but it was Lance Burton that I really appreciated.
I know that magic isn’t real, that it is all smoke, mirrors and sleight of hand but the best shows are still totally enthralling. Sadly Lance Burton’s run at the Monte Carlo ended in 2010 and it seems that magic has lost its popularity. Las Vegas just isn’t the same anymore!
Article by Sally Stacey