Expense Hughes/Las Vegas News Bureau
Among the most recognizable headlining entertainers in the history of the Las Vegas Strip is coming out of retirement for a couple of shows this week.
Master magician Lance Burton still resides in Las Vegas however hasn’t done an appropriate Vegas show given that ending his residency at the Monte Carlo (now Park MGM) in 2010 after more than 15,000 performances over the course of his 30-year-plus career. He goes back to the phase at the Orleans Showroom Friday and Saturday and is bringing some wonderful pals along for the trip, with profits from the shows going to the Variety Kid’s Charity of Southern Nevada.
Burton still likes to carry out– especially for a great cause– but this weekend is not the start of something more. “About a year ago we did a show in Des Moines, Iowa, and in March we did a show in Louisville, Kentucky, and September in Albuquerque. I’ve been doing 2 or three reveals a year and it’s been enjoyable,” he says. “I like to tell individuals it resembles getting together with your friends to go on a fishing expedition, but we don’t fish. This is the best rate for me. It’s still enjoyable and interesting.”
Burton, who likewise serves as the grand marshal of this year’s opportunity Town Santa Operate on December 1, talked with me about these shows, the state of magic in Las Vegas and how this really publication assisted connect him with the charity he’s so passionate about.
You’ve been dealing with the Range Kid’s Charity of Southern Nevada for a long time now. How did you learn about the company?
Did you know Joe Delaney? I met him in 1982 when I initially came to town and he was an extremely appreciated home entertainment author in Las Vegas and extremely involved in the neighborhood. I met him throughout among the St. Jude’s Ranch charity events. In the early ’90s I was at the Hacienda and Joe called me and said he wished to have lunch and told me about Range and I have actually never heard of it, but how it had been around given that the early 1900s and was begun in Pennsylvania by some guys who were in show service. He informed me how the one in Las Vegas does a lot for kids with unique requirements and stated, ‘They want you to be the spokesman.’ It was founded here in the ’50s. I went out for a go to and fulfilled the kids and the staff and I’ve been involved ever since. I go do a program every year at the Christmas celebration. And these programs came about at the ideal time because I was speaking to them about doing some other fundraising events around town. So a portion of the earnings goes to Range and it’s likewise fantastic since Fielding West, who is carrying out, is now on the board of directors.
You have actually kept your Vegas home considering that you retired from performing on the Strip. Have you kept your eyes on the entertainment scene?
I haven’t maintained. After 30 years of decreasing to the Strip every day and fighting that traffic, now it’s the last place I want to go.
One of the most significant developments in magic is Criss Angel’s relocation from Luxor to Planet Hollywood. You assisted provide him with an award from the International Brotherhood of Magicians this year.
I’m really pleased with Criss and what he has achieved. There’s no question he’s become the person here in Las Vegas as far as huge magic reveals with national visibility. I first met Criss over twenty years earlier when I had actually simply opened at the Monte Carlo and we were both part of this documentary on magic for the Discovery Channel. I knew at that time he was going to be a major force and I kept informing my pals to watch on this person. Years later on he came out with the “Mindfreak” TELEVISION series and simply took off like a rocket.
Is working as a sort of ambassador of magic an essential function for you now?
Yeah, I’m associated with the International Brotherhood of Magicians and I sponsor their youth group where we have a little two-day seminar every year for teen magicians. When you’re retired, you begin looking at the future of your art form and you want to do whatever you can to motivate the next generation. That is among my main points now. The kids who are entering magic now are very passionate and being around that is infectious and reminds you why you got into it.
And you’ll be getting back into it at the Orleans.
I’m truly enjoying it. The program we’re doing is a lot various than the show I did all those years. It runs perhaps an hour and 45 minutes and I do about half, some impressions with audience participation, some sleight-of-hand magic and some huge illusions. People get to see a little bit of whatever from my career. There’s a great deal of comedy in the program, too.
Is that the primary difference from your old program?
I believe so. That was among the remarks I got frequently, that after the program people would state it was a lot funnier than they believed it would be. More traditional magic, you anticipate severity. But that comedy was constantly the surprise part of my show, unlike the commercials that show all the huge magical minutes to get individuals to come. It was constantly sort of my trump card, I guess, something individuals were not anticipating, to laugh a lot.
Lance Burton and Friends will be presented at 8 p.m. November 23 and 24 at the Orleans Showroom (4500 W. Tropicana Ave., 702-365-7111) and more details can be found at orleanscasino.com.