Clarion’s magician tells it like it is

In an exceptionally lazy, postholiday week of summer, it’s nice to have others do your work for you.

Faced with writing about yet another show trying to crack the Las Vegas market with an entry-level title in the Clarion’s well-hidden showroom, I would usually say stuff like this:

“People who didn’t know the Vegas market, how the market here works, came in and thought, ‘Oh, let’s open a show in Vegas.’ ”

After facing rejection from larger, busier casinos, “all the people who didn’t know the business landed somehow at the Clarion, and those people expected to open the doors and have thousands of customers because they thought, ‘We are the biggest and the greatest.’ ”

Yes, that’s the kind of thing I write. So I was pleasantly surprised to have the showroom’s new tenant, magician Jan Rouven, say it for me.

A lack of naivety inspires hope that the German illusionist and producer-manager Frank Alfter did not walk blindly into the same snare by opening his new “Illusions” show there.

“The room has potential. It’s a very nice showroom. It just needs the right people,” Rouven says of the room where he has invested $100,000 in (removable) lighting and sound upgrades.

Rouven confesses he signed his deal with the Clarion before finding out Rick Thomas would be back in business this summer, or that Steve Wyrick still plans to open across the street (Paradise Road) at the Las Vegas Hilton.

But at 29, Rouven is the youngest magician with a show in the tourist corridor, and he promises some high-adrenaline escapes that haven’t been done to death here.

Audiences on Fremont Street saw him perform portions of his act during Halloween-season shows the past two years.

Rouven says he is well-known in Germany but needs to build name recognition in the United States. Again, he saves me the labor of asking an obvious question by doing it himself: “You are famous in Germany, so why don’t you just stay?”

“I needed a new challenge,” he says to answer that question. “(Germany) is a small country. … It’s limited.”

Across Paradise Road, rival magician Steve Wyrick will be opening at least a few days later than Saturday, the date long listed on the Las Vegas Hilton’s website. The delay until Wednesday or Thursday is blamed on time needed to finesse new illusions.

Rouven couldn’t help but take pride in meeting his goal of opening for the July 4 weekend. “In Germany we are used to opening on time,” he says. “It’s the German thing. We never postpone.” …

The “Recycled Percussion” show beats its last drum at the Tropicana on July 15. Originally characterized as a break to tour some colleges and the like, the casino now says the show will not return. It wasn’t clear at this writing if the move was related to the departure of Jay Bloom as managing partner of the Tropicana’s Mob Experience attraction. Bloom helmed the Tropicana’s showroom when Recycled signed on for its residency. …

“Vegas! The Show” just got a little more fabulous, with a novel promotion. The Saxe Theater salute to the golden era of the Strip runs with New York’s legalization of same-sex marriage by offering free show tickets all month to gay married couples with any documentation; not limited to the six states legally acknowledging them. …

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@ reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.

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