Our Vegas Show Experience

A popular thing for people to do when visiting Las Vegas, at least the non-early 20s crowd, is to see a show. Naturally, Sidney, a Vegas rookie, put it on her “bucket list” for last week’s trip.

Sid knew what she was after to satisfy this part of the list. It had nothing to do with Cirque du Soleil, ventriloquists, or women wearing feathery hats. Rather, it was all about one thing: Magic.

Vegas is a place where your mind can run wild in a desert of illusion. My wife wanted to be amazed and entertained by the fabulous world of magic so we chose the most popular magicians not just in Nevada but possibly the world—Penn and Teller.

What better way to say “Welcome to Las Vegas” than going to a Penn and Teller show your first night in the city? That’s what we did. We checked into our hotel a little past 6 p.m. and managed to score tickets for the 9 p.m. show. After securing transportation to the Rio and eating a quick dinner, we were sitting in the Penn and Teller theater.

Sidney and I in the Penn and Teller Theater in the Rio.

Prior to the show starting we were treated to some jazz music with Penn himself coming out to play a couple numbers on the cello. Once 9 p.m. hit it was showtime! Watching the stage go dark only for a spotlight to illuminate Teller to a rousing applause was pretty cool. One of the first acts was a misdirection/gorilla in a cage trick that set the tone for the rest of the show.

The night was structured with Penn narrating the whole show. The overall theme was basically Penn “exposing” basic principles of magic but then using those same principles to pull off tricks that left everyone in the audience guessing how it was done. Funny and charismatic, Penn generated a lot of laughs. But with Teller, no words were necessary for him to captivate and entertain. His talent, mannerisms, and confidence pack more of a punch than any one-liner ever could.

Sidney posing next to an oversized portrait of Penn and Teller after the show.

Penn and Teller did classics like the goldfish trick and shadows. They also threw in a card trick and some fire breathing. They did a Zoom magic show parody and a slight of hand trick that was fun. The show lasted for 90 minutes with Penn pausing on multiple occasions to say how nice it was to perform in front of a crowd again.

We really enjoyed the evening. Although a couple of tricks were tough to follow because they weren’t conducive to being performed in front of a large crowd (even with video boards), the majority of the acts were captivating and well-executed. Penn could probably talk a little less but to see the iconic duo perform in person was a real treat.

If you are a magic fan and/or a Penn and Teller fan, this show is for you. It runs Thursday – Sunday and will probably provide you with a memory or two. Don’t Blink.

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