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Heart surgery forces Penn & Teller to postpone dates

Updated October 3, 2022 - 8:35 pm

Teller is known as the silent partner in Penn & Teller’s hit stage show at the Rio. He’s also one tough dude, and his mettle is being tested again.

Penn & Teller have temporarily taken down their long-running, comed-magic production, as Teller recovers from open-heart surgery.

Teller underwent bypass surgery last week, the duo’s longtime manager Glenn Alai said in a statement Monday morning:

“Teller underwent bypass surgery on Thursday here in Las Vegas and is resting and recovering well. Under doctor’s orders, he will be off stage over the next several weeks with an eye towards returning to performances in late November or early December.”

The duo most recently performed in Vegas on Sept. 25 at the Rio, and most recently on the road Sept. 23 at Mystic Lake Showroom in Prior, Minn.

Teller has overcome several health challenges over the past four years.

The 74-year-old illusionist underwent three back surgeries over 18 months covering 2018-2019, returning to the act in February 2020. Penn Jillette performed a “Penn & Friends” show for three weeks ending Jan. 4, 2020. Guest stars Mac King, Piff The Magic Dragon and Matt Donnelly joined the production.

There has been no announcement from the duo’s camp or Caesars Entertainment if any performer or production will fill the dates left open by the show’s pause.

The duo has since recorded the ninth season of their FX series “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” at their Rio theater. The season premiere is Oct. 14.

Jillette’s latest book, “Random,” is due Oct. 11. The Teller’s re-imagination of Shakespeare’s “Tempest” is to be revived at the Round House theater outside Washington D.C. in early November. The production ran on the lawn at Symphony Park at the Smith Center in 2015.

The headliners celebrated their 21st anniversary at the Rio in January. They have performed more than 12,000 shows since first partnering in 1975. They are the longest-running headliners ever to continuously play the same hotel in Las Vegas.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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