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Theatre going in Las Vegas may involve a different sets of expectation with its style of production and range of shows. But as a theatre addict, it is something to be done especially if all your friends are going. The Penn and Teller show is a series of tricks and set pieces performed in their usual subversive, comedic and somewhat cerebral style. Standard pieces such as sleight of hand tricks, escapology and bullet catch are all present but with the trademark Penn & Teller twist. Along with others, more analytical acts which dissect the components and ideas in magic, the show has a satisfying range and contrast.

In some ways, this show is the least Las Vegas of shows as it is very understated which has the benefit of being more focused on their act and magic but unfortunately suffers from lack of atmosphere and continuity. There is insufficient linkage between tricks and one hops into another without much celebration of the previous and anticipation of the next. The tricks and set pieces are competent and entertaining individually, though some can really benefit with more sound effects or a soundtrack. It is slightly distracting to be confronted by snoring noises from the next person especially when Teller is doing some of his silent segments. Maybe because they have been doing the same show, with minor variations, at the same venue for 12 years and the fatigue and complacency are setting in. Maybe the sheer number of acts in their repertoire means forcibly linking the acts with a narrative or theme will be counter-productive. Nonetheless, the disjointedness and lack of atmosphere is an issue. Despite these complaints, this show is entertaining and slick enough for any visitor to spend an enjoyable evening in Las Vegas and perhaps offer a more intelligent and off-the-strip choice.

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One thought on “Penn & Teller, Penn and Teller Theatre, Las Vegas. ***

  1. Pingback: Las Vegas, Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain National Park, August 2013 | Chris' Weblog

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