Mel Shields: More magic, less talk

Published: Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 25TICKET
Last Modified: Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 - 3:25 pm

In a movie to be released this spring, "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone," longtime magicians very much like Siegfried & Roy break up because of competition by a guerilla street magician, very much like Criss Angel.

That pretty much sums up the prestidigitation business these days. Magic, once a staple of Nevada entertainment, has evolved. Even David Copperfield is a bit of an anachronism.

Where does that leave Kevin and Caruso, the leads of the Eldorado's new "Magique?"

In their own niche, a bit of the glamour and glitz, a bit of the dark side. Unlike other magic teams, they come across as a mismatched pair, Kevin with an ordinary-guy look and attitude, Caruso (called "Lord Caruso" in a bit of silliness) more dandified. They work together well onstage because of this and also because they avoid foolish banter and even stay away from letting anybody know much about them – just two guys performing magic.

Therein lies much of the joy of "Magique." There is none of the business that makes so many shows tedious. There is no explanation of what is about to happen, except for one well-placed comment about a variation on Houdini's famous "Metamorphosis." Props are brought onstage, immediately used, the illusion is completed, and it's on to the next one.

Nothing drags a show down more than a long setup, and "Magique" has none of that.

It has much more, in fact. With the show Mistinguett returns to the region. Once a fixture as choreographer for Greg Thompson shows at Harrah's, she brings with her a dance line that can perform her sharp-edged and demanding charts. Her staging of "Magique" provides a professional look.

Also returning after a long absence is Mark Kornhauser, another review veteran, whose comedy magic is a perfect balance for the more serious stuff.

"Magique" runs through April 14. (8 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays; 7 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays; 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturdays; $24.15, $32.95, $38.45; 800-648-5966 or eldoradoreno.com).

Out and about

Two comedy favorites arrive in casinos Saturday.

Kathleen Madigan, whose "Gone Madigan" is on Showtime, plays Cache Creek in Brooks (8 p.m.; $42; cachecreek.com).

Adam Carolla, he of the inspired rant, returns to John Ascuaga's Nugget in Sparks, Nev. (8:30 p.m.; $49; janugget.com).

• Thunder Valley, Lincoln has two shows this weekend, starting with Crystal Gayle, who can return country music to a gentler time, today (8:30 p.m.; $39.50, $49.50; thundervalleyresort. com) and Tia Carrere with Daniel Ho on Saturday (8:30 p.m.; $22.50, $32.50).


CASINO GUIDE

Boomtown, Reno – Events Center: Al Stewart, Saturday. (800) 648-3790.

Cal Neva Resort –Frank Sinatra Showroom: Too $hort, next Friday. (800) 233-5551.

Harrah's Lake Tahoe – South Shore Room: G. Love and Special Sauce, March 2. (800) 427-7247.

Harveys, Lake Tahoe – Improv: Scott Henry, Daryl Lenox, through Sunday.

Horizon, Lake Tahoe – Illusion Fusion starring Alex Ramon, Thursdays-Tuesdays. (775) 588-6211.

MontBleu Resort, Lake Tahoe – MontBleu Theatre: Jo Koy, Saturday. (888) 829-7630.

Silver Legacy, Reno – Grand Exposition Hall: Aaron Lewis, next Friday; (800) 687-8733.

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