Dirk Arthur New Show: “More Like Stage Manager than Star”

 

Dirk Arthur and “Beautiful Assistant”

We look forward to Mike Weatherford’s Thursday column all week. He usually has some of the bird’s-eye-lowdown on the magic-skinny in Glitter Gulch.

Mr. Weatherford did not disappoint this week. Actually, he may have disappointed fans of Dirk Arthur with his review of the magician’s new show.

Before we turn to the review, let’s get a lay of the land.

Mr. Arthur has taken over the Tropicana stage recently vacated by our friend Rick Thomas. Mr. Thomas moved up the strip to The Stardust where he shares the Wayne Newton Theater with Wayne Newton. So far, it all makes sense.

Melinda Saxe, the First Lady of Magic and our all-time favorite magician who happens to be beautiful, was produced by her brother, David Saxe. (By the way, Melinda beat out several other beautiful magicians including Francis Willard, Jinger Kalin, and David Copperfield).

Mr. Saxe produces V The Ultimate Variety Show and our favorite The Show Girls of Magic starring Steve Daly as Tiny Bubbles. Mr. Saxe agreed to produce and direct Mr. Arthur’s new show at the Tropicana.

Wayne Newton also appears in the Wayne Newton Theater.

Everything is in order now.

So, what does Mr. Weatherford think of the Xtreme Magic starring Dirk Arthur?

His review’s sub-head gives it away: “Sleight of Hand, Slight of Stature. Dirk Arthur covers up his lack of stage presence with leggy dancers, big cats and bigger contraptions.”

Mr. Saxe and Mr. Arthur worked together to play up the show’s strengths while minimizing is apparent weaknesses. “To compensate for what the star lacks in stage presence, they substitute leggy female dancers, big cats and bigger stage contraptions.”

The pace is quick, very quick. The show is scheduled to run 55 minutes but lasted just 45 minutes the day Mr. Weatherford watched.

Mr. Saxe knows how to put on a great show. He claims he developed an axiom proven successful with his sister’s show. “If you can’t say anything clever, don’t say anything at all.”

Mr. Weatherford was discouraged by Mr. Arthur’s lines. For his final illusion, the magician tells the audience, “I would like to present our final illusion.” When Mr. Arthur appears in the place of another character, he accentuates the moment with the classic, “Hey-Hey!”

(As all die-hard Chicago Cubs’ fans know, “Hey-Hey!” was invented by Jack Brickhouse of WGN to describe home-runs).

Mr. Weatherford observes:

Arthur’s play for headliner status has been hampered by just this inability to create a distinctive star presence. It’s not that he’s unlikable. Just that he’s not memorably assertive.

With his short stature and nasal voice, he comes off more like a cheerful stage manager, guiding the cabinets in and out of position.

Perhaps by the time school lets out and the summer…

 

Dirk Arthur and “Beautiful Assistant”

We look forward to Mike Weatherford’s Thursday column all week. He usually has some of the bird’s-eye-lowdown on the magic-skinny in Glitter Gulch.

Mr. Weatherford did not disappoint this week. Actually, he may have disappointed fans of Dirk Arthur with his review of the magician’s new show.

Before we turn to the review, let’s get a lay of the land.

Mr. Arthur has taken over the Tropicana stage recently vacated by our friend Rick Thomas. Mr. Thomas moved up the strip to The Stardust where he shares the Wayne Newton Theater with Wayne Newton. So far, it all makes sense.

Melinda Saxe, the First Lady of Magic and our all-time favorite magician who happens to be beautiful, was produced by her brother, David Saxe. (By the way, Melinda beat out several other beautiful magicians including Francis Willard, Jinger Kalin, and David Copperfield).

Mr. Saxe produces V The Ultimate Variety Show and our favorite The Show Girls of Magic starring Steve Daly as Tiny Bubbles. Mr. Saxe agreed to produce and direct Mr. Arthur’s new show at the Tropicana.

Wayne Newton also appears in the Wayne Newton Theater.

Everything is in order now.

So, what does Mr. Weatherford think of the Xtreme Magic starring Dirk Arthur?

His review’s sub-head gives it away: “Sleight of Hand, Slight of Stature. Dirk Arthur covers up his lack of stage presence with leggy dancers, big cats and bigger contraptions.”

Mr. Saxe and Mr. Arthur worked together to play up the show’s strengths while minimizing is apparent weaknesses. “To compensate for what the star lacks in stage presence, they substitute leggy female dancers, big cats and bigger stage contraptions.”

The pace is quick, very quick. The show is scheduled to run 55 minutes but lasted just 45 minutes the day Mr. Weatherford watched.

Mr. Saxe knows how to put on a great show. He claims he developed an axiom proven successful with his sister’s show. “If you can’t say anything clever, don’t say anything at all.”

Mr. Weatherford was discouraged by Mr. Arthur’s lines. For his final illusion, the magician tells the audience, “I would like to present our final illusion.” When Mr. Arthur appears in the place of another character, he accentuates the moment with the classic, “Hey-Hey!”

(As all die-hard Chicago Cubs’ fans know, “Hey-Hey!” was invented by Jack Brickhouse of WGN to describe home-runs).

Mr. Weatherford observes:

Arthur’s play for headliner status has been hampered by just this inability to create a distinctive star presence. It’s not that he’s unlikable. Just that he’s not memorably assertive.

With his short stature and nasal voice, he comes off more like a cheerful stage manager, guiding the cabinets in and out of position.

Perhaps by the time school lets out and the summer family traffic begins to flow, this show will feel a little more full and complete. For now though, the ads promise tigers and magic and some guy there in the middle of it all. And all those things it delivers.

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