It’s a title and a challenge: “Fool Us.”
Penn & Teller are recording the fifth season of their CW magic competition show this week at their namesake theater at Rio. The shows run at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. daily through March 15 (go to on-camera-audiences.com for info), dark Saturdays and Sundays. Comic actress Alyson Hannigan (“Buffy The Vampire Slayer”) is again the host; column fave Shayma Tash is the adept audience warm-up act.
The format is unchanged. Guest magicians perform a trick, attempting to “fool” the headlining duo. Those who succeed are offered a chance to perform in one of P&T’s shows in Las Vegas.
Oh, and they also receive a “Fool Us” trophy, with the letters “F” and “U” prominently displayed.
Past Vegas performers include Piff the Magic Dragon, who launched his Vegas career after appearing on the show in its first season, when it was taped in London. Piff is now one of the Strip’s great success stories as a headliner at Bugsy’s Cabaret at the Flamingo.
Other well-known Vegas performers who have tested P&T include Mac King of Harrah’s, Jeff McBride of “The Underground” at The Olive on East Sunset Road; Xavier Mortimer of Sin City Theater at Planet Hollywood; Fielding West, currently on tour and appearing with Lance Burton; Mike Hammer of Four Queens; and veteran sleight-of-hand performer Rick Lax.
Episodes taped this month are tentatively planned to air July through October.
Groundbreaking multimedia comic Tom Green closes his run at The Back Room at Bally’s after his 10 p.m. show Wednesday. He is pursuing a larger venue on the Strip, and is expected to secure a deal sometime this month.
Green opened his multimedia “Tom Green Show” in November. He runs a four-night-per-week schedule, leaving the weekends for touring dates.
Ready … break!
The men of “Renegades” at Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace are breaking through March 15. This is something of a post-game report — Jose Canseco, Terrell Owens and Jim McMahon were not onstage for last weekend’s shows. Producer Rich Lenkov is reportedly reviewing the seating in the room (which is alternately groovy and awkward, depending on your vantage point) and ticket pricing. A piece of unsolicited advice: Whittle the $300 VIP meet-and-greet. Fans love to meet these guys, but that price is outta the ballpark.
A show I really liked a few years ago, Geechy Guy’s “Dirty Jokes Show” is back. The Geech is set to open 10:30 p.m. Sunday at Night Owl Showroom at Hooters, and run Sundays through Thursdays. The production was staged for a few months in 2010 at the hotel’s upstairs Iowa Theater for the Performing Arts (an ironically named, converted conference room).
The premise is simple, yet inventive: Three comics, led by Guy, hang out in an alley behind a comedy club and unleash one-liners for about 80 minutes. Not all jokes are “Dirty,” but the two shows I saw back-when were loaded with laughs.
One night, challenged by fellow comic Todd Paul, Guy reeled off a dozen “guy-walks-into-a-doctor’s-office” jokes, flawlessly and without pausing. Guy has been shopping the show for years, and this tucked-away gem deserves a look-see.
On the topic of Hooters …
Star impressionist Gordie Brown seems to have found a groove at the Night Owl venue. He opened in November, renting the space in a four-wall agreement with the hotel. He’s now salaried. To a headliner, the difference between a four-wall and salaried deal is easy to explain: Instead of paying the management to perform in the space, management pays to have you there.
Filling The Space
Stephanie Stanton,director of Sands Cares, the philanthropic arm of Las Vegas Sands, issued a $25,000 donation to Mark Shunock at the Space during Mondays Dark this week.
This scene is the opener of a two-act play.
Stanton also announced that it was the first installment of a two-year commitment to The Space, meaning another $25,000 donation will be issued in 2019 (Las Vegas Sands is owned by the Adelson family, which also owns the Review-Journal).
The large-check presentation was staged near the end of a wild, Billy Joel-themed show benefiting Miracle Flights of Las Vegas.
It was the 81st Mondays Dark charity show, an event dating back to November 2013. Formerly held in the Body English nightclub space at Hard Rock Hotel, which is currently home to “Magic Mike Live.” Shunock works there, too, as one of the adult revue’s emcees. This is livin’ VegasVille-style.
Cool hang alert
Catch Chadwick Johnson and Jonathan Karrant, if at all possible, at 8 p.m. Thursday at Myron’s Cabaret Jazz. The two budding showmen have zigzagged across town, headlining at Italian American Club and The Space, among other venues. They always put on polished performances, and they’ll be backed by a four-piece band in a very chic presentation.
Johnson and Karrant plan to perform lesser-known but meaningful numbers that hold “a great deal of personal meaning and artistic inspiration for each of us,” as Johnson says. The two perform extensive sets solo, then blend for duets at the end. Sing along if you like, but not too loudly.