Las Vegas Review: The Penn & Teller (Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino)

So I had plans to go see this show with one of my good friends who moved out here 6 years ago who went with me to the BeatleShow!, unfortunately he couldn’t make it so I decided to just go it alone and find someone to give the ticket away to at the hotel.

After asking a few people I saw alone standing in line I managed to find someone alone that wanted a ticket. Turned out it was Benjy Sarlin from Talking Point Memo. Which was weird, and cool. I guess. At least I had someone to talk politics with before the show. It was also great because of an error, I got to sit in the 11th row back. Great fuckin’ seats! All Penn and Teller wanted in return was some of my fresh blood. Fair deal!

So before the show Penn (stand up bass) and Mike Jones (piano) were jamming out on some jazz as we inspected a large wooden box with wheels on 2 sides and sign an envelope on stage. We were assured that we wouldn’t want to miss out on such an opportunity many times tongue in cheek by Mike.

The show starts abruptly when one of the stage hands comes out to turn the box on it’s back wheels and Teller popped out and Penn stepped out at the same time to welcome us to the show. Pretty jaw dropping that such a great trick would of been such a small insignificant part of the show, but it’s cake walk compared to what came next.

Now I’m not going to detail every trick in the show, because that would be just… annoying. I will, however, tell you about some of the highlights of the show.

One involved magically getting a cell phone into a fish and a Criss Angel jab. I thought insulting Criss Angel was my schtick, apparently not anymore.

No Penn & Teller performance would be complete without a complete deconstruction of spiritualism. Penn showed how those who talk to the dead were doing simple cold reading, hot reading and other slight of hand to achieve their illusions but in a was that’s not only morally reprehensible. So instead of talking to the audience member’s dead families, he predicted random jokes out of a stack of joke books.

What would a P&T show be without an explanation of their libertarian views with some stage magic involving a metal detector. Now before I go and spoil the whole show I’ll just talk about 3 more. There was 3 illusions that were beyond belief all in their own ways. I have to say, I’m a big magic fan. I have seen a lot of stage magic in my life and these 3 were the best tricks I have ever seen in my life.

The first was Teller and his pet ball. He silently showed how his simple pet bouncy ball can do some great tricks involving a hoop. Teller is an amazing illusionist and performer and he can do it all without saying a single word.

The second was another Teller illusion. Probably his most known performance. It’s called ‘shadows.’ This is a very moving and emotional illusion. There’s no words to describe how this effect works on you. It’s just Teller, a knife, a rose stem in a vase, a light and a piece of paper that the shadow lands onto. There’s not a single word in the english language to describe how great this is.

They ended the show with their famous bullet catch. Penn and Teller call 2 people out of the audience who knew their shit about guns. Without crossing a line drew down the center of the stage, they had them sign the cap and shell of the bullet and fired them at each other though a pane of glass and into each others mouth and catching it in their teeth. They then had said audience members verify it was their bullets and that they were in fact fired from the gun.

After the show they rushed to the exit of the theater and did a meet and greet with everyone where they signed autographs and took photos. I got them both to sign the 3 of clubs out of my deck of red fan back Tally-Hos (yes, the ones made in Ohio)

This show was nothing short of amazing. They kept it lively, moving and funny the entire show. 11 out of 10. If you come to Vegas, put this on your itinerary. Even if you don’t like magic, this is still something you want to see. The tickets are a bit pricy, 75 bucks for nose bleeds but well worth it. Penn and Teller are redefining Vegas magic and you’d be a fool not to experience it yourself.