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Penn & Teller on target to run 25 years at Rio

Updated July 5, 2023 - 5:34 pm

Penn & Teller continually change the acts in their Las Vegas stage show. But their home venue won’t change.

Penn Jillette and Teller’s hit magic/comedy act is remaining at their self-named theater at the Rio for another three years. The resort’s new operating company, Dreamscape Cos., made the announcement Tuesday.

The extension means the duo will have performed for a quarter-century at the off-Strip resort.

Penn & Teller opened at the Rio in Jan. 5, 2001. Despite speculation that they would move to Jubilee Theater at Bally’s (now Horseshoe Las Vegas) and Paris Theater, the duo have not budged. They simply love the theater, which is a big and beautiful space with easy access.

As a result, the duo has performed at the same Las Vegas hotel longer than any current headliner.

“The Rio has been our performing home for nearly 23 years, and we are very excited to share this new partnership with Dreamscape and the great employees at the Rio,” Penn & Teller said in a joint statement. Overall, the duo have been performing together for 48 years.

Dreamscape, taking over as Rio’s landlord for Caesars Entertainment, is happy to have a hit show at the Rio, which is to undergo a multiyear renovation effort.

“We are thrilled to continue the partnership with Penn & Teller,” Dreamscape President of Entertainment and Gaming Trevor Scherrer said in a statement. “Penn & Teller are icons in entertainment, and their show continues to be a must see for Las Vegas visitors We are honored to have them as part of the Rio as we reimagine this iconic resort.”

The duo returns to the stage Thursday night. “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” films 20 episodes for its 10th series beginning the first week of August. The extension is announced just as P&T finished a sold-out U.K. tour, and Jillette also co-headlined a short series June 23-25 in Barcelona, alongside the renowned Spanish magician Jandro.

Jillette learned Spanish during COVID. He and Teller are developing 21 new routines for “Fool Us,” and has written 160 new tricks for the series. All that remains permanent is where it all happens.

Tease this …

I am increasingly confident Kylie Minogue will headline a series of performances on the Strip this year. Nothing confirmed, mind you. But this production is reportedly something beyond a traditional Vegas theater residency, unique in its venue and presentation.

Don’t look for a partnership with Live Nation or AEG Presents, which are Vegas’ predominant concert companies.

The Minogue show is expected to be a different concept from what we’ve seen over the past two-plus decades from our Strip headliners. Minogue’s “Vegas High,” on her latest album, “Tension,” is a means to tease this production.

So this happened …

The talented Vegas vocalist and showman Jassen Allen attended Saturday’s Patti LaBelle show at Buffalo Bill’s Star of the Desert Arena.

Allen also performed in the show.

This came to be as LaBelle called from the stage, “I want three men who can sing and dance!”

Allen, turned to his companion that night, who happened to be Skye Dee Miles, and asked, “Should I go?”

“Goooo!” said Miles, for years a popular Vegas performer.

Allen showed up with two other, unidentified, random participants.

Handed the mic, he sang, “Lady Marmalade,” and performed some dance moves. Allen is a busy cruise-ship performer and has also helped Mark Shunock book the acts for “Monday’s Dark” for years. In short, he knows what he’s doing.

Allen also bowed to LaBelle and sang a few lines from “Simply the Best.” The impromptu performance was a way to honor LaBelle, who had been criticized for being unable to read the teleprompter with the words to that song during a tribute to Tina Turner during the BET Awards show on June 25.

“She gave me a huge hug, which is how I got the selfie,” Allen said during a phone chat while he was on cruise of the U.S. Virgin Islands. “I just came out of it thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t believe my life.’ It’s like we say, ‘Don’t get ready, be ready.’ I was ready.”

Four!

I am one who believes “Jersey Boys” is still an appealing title and concept. With that, The Fourmers are returning to the stage at South Point Showroom on Aug. 24.

Deven May, Douglas Crawford, Jeff Leibow and Dominic Scaglione Jr. are cast in the latest variation of this roster of ex-“Jersey Boys” cast members. The stage show closed in September 2016 at Paris Theater, ending an eight-year run on the Strip. The show split its residency between Palazzo and Paris.

We’ve heard rumors that the show might return, in some form, to a Vegas venue. The value of the brand remains strong. Frankie Valli — the actual Frankie Valli — is still performing, set to headline 14 performances at Westgate’s International Theater, opening Oct. 26-27 and continuing Jan 12-14, April 4-6, July 4-6 and Oct. 24-26.

Valli was also married last month, and turns 90 next May. If that’s possible, we are not ruling out anything related to the Fourmers, Four Seasons or “Jersey Boys.”

Might We Recommend …

The Yacht Soul Band plays Gatsby’s Supper Club at Gambit Henderson at 8 p.m. (dinner) and 9 p.m. (show) Saturday. This is a new band and concept on the VegasVille scene, headed up by Steph Payne (and as you know, if she’s there, I’m there).

YSB is further reinforcement that yacht rock is a theme that will stick, infusing R&B/soul/funk/jazz into the already blossoming genre.

The YSL players are silly good, with Dave Siegel on keys, Earl Campbell on drums, Dave Ostrem on bass and Charles McNeal on sax. Derek Lowery and Toscha Comeaux on backing vocals. Some of the best of the best in this one. Experience some intense Earth Wind & Fire, Toto and Chaka Khan action (captains caps encouraged, especially those that are blinged). Go to aegrouplv.com for navigational direction.

What Works In Vegas

How about “Awakening” in its relaunch at the Wynn? Tuesday’s 7 p.m. show was close to capacity (just a few single seats available an hour before showtime), and 9:30 p.m. about 75-percent full. The lowered starting ticket price of $99 (not including fees) is certainly a factor.

Cool Hang Alert

Thee Swank Bastards return their styish, surf-rock show to The Golden Tiki at 2 a.m. Sunday and 9 p.m. Monday. Those times are right, as is the vibe. No cover but reservations encouraged; go to thegoldentiki.com for intel.

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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