To open an entertainment venue at Lake Tahoe in the winter significantly increases the risk of a failure known by any new business. Nevertheless, Paul Reder, an area producer with a long list of credits, is set to open a theater on Saturday, Dec. 19. Recent snowfalls can only increase its initial customer count.
Reder wants an appropriate venue for the kinds of intimate shows he’s been producing at the Horizon before it became the Hard Rock, such as “Phantasy” or “Magic Fusion.” They ran for a number of years and were right for families and moderately priced. He’s known to put on quick, captivating and well-staged productions.
The new venue is The Loft, a 110-seat theater and adjoining lounge located in Heavenly Village in South Lake Tahoe. It has a direct-entrance foyer from the third floor of the parking garage and a Grand Entrance and outdoor pavilion next to the Heavenly Cinemas. It’s a location that assures exposure to considerable foot traffic, especially since the cinemas at the Hard Rock have been closed, making Heavenly the only movie location on the South Shore.
Reder has produced more than 3,000 shows on the South Shore. He’s brought in big names such as Steve Martin, Daniel Tosh and Robin Williams; he produces the Lake Tahoe Reggae Festival and Bass Camp Festival; he designed the MontBleu’s Blu Nightclub and Opal Ultra Lounge; and he spent 12 years as vice president of entertainment for Caesars.
The Loft’s first show is “Magic Fusion,” starring Tony Clark, who has spent many years in Reder’s shows. By phone, he promises what he calls “stand-up style” magic in what will essentially be a one-man show – “parlor magic, a little bit bigger than close-up magic.” There will be no animals. (“I have never liked caging them, but I did once have a Macaw who proved to be too mean.”)
Clark is a winner of multiple magic awards and a fitting contemporary in a field of legendary performers, many of whom he calls his inspirations – Copperfield, Henning, Slydini. He may also be one of the few magicians who openly tributes Bill Bixby, star of TV’s “The Magician.”
The Loft will feature 10 shows a week, Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays at 7 and 9 p.m. ($27; loftoftahoe.com)
The Grand Sierra on Friday, Dec. 18 opens a run through Dec. 30 of “Furia! a Heroic Cirque Spectacle,” full of projection mapping, lasers, BMX bike acrobats, trampoline artists, fliers, and balancers, along with a few villains. (8 p.m.; $11-$23.85; grandsierraresort.com)