The Amazing Johnathan Leaves Riviera for the Sahara

 

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported a story that brought back fond memories for us here.

A while back, Inside Magic reported on the comings and goings at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. You remember, don’t you? Dixie Dooley was losing his space at the hotel and another family of performers was discussing whether to stay.

The point of the article way back when was to note the incredible pressure upon magicians (and other acts) to “cover their nut” in the high-stakes world of “four-walled shows.”

Is it coming back to you now? Remember we talked about the Amazing Johnathan’s move from Downtown to the Riviera where he had a one-year contract essentially subletting a four-walled theater?

Well, it’s amazing how fast a year goes by. AJ is heading down the strip to the beautiful Sahara property and not looking back.

Why? Can’t he, like, you know, keep a job?

Imagine you were living on your own, your parents didn’t send you rent money, you barely made it by dancing on street corners and by pretending to eat Drano washed down by Windex. Now, imagine people liked you, they really liked you. They told their friends about you and soon, you had entire rooms full of people screaming your name, laughing at your jokes before you even say them, worshipping your creativity, trying to touch your hair when you were at a stall in the men’s room. (The last one may be unique to us — the point is made, though. You’re a hit!)

Now the man that rents the street corner from the real man; you know, The Man, gets jealous. The landlord doesn’t have to pay anymore for the street corner — some would say it wasn’t much of a street corner until you came along and stapled playing cards to the face of a beautiful and hysterical comedic psychic.

The landlord says, “Hey, love your act. I love it so much; I’m going to double your rent for this year.”

You say, “no way!”

The landlord says, “Way.”

You’re bumming. You are making more money because more people are coming to see you but that’s just paying for all the high-tech black art gear and advertisements.

You say to the landlord, “Dude, why would you go and do this to me? I’m pulling in tons of traffic past your other shows. That’s good all around. Don’t you care?”

Penny “Psychic Tanya” Wiggins

The landlord puts his Phillies Blunt out on your assistant’s blonde head.

“That’s just the point. You’re taking away from my crowds. They’re coming here to see either your show, Crazy Girls, or An Evening at La Cage. They decide to see your show and so my shows suffer. I know I don’t have to pay much for costumes to either of the nudie, adult extravaganzas and the music is all pre-recorded, but still, I have to…

 

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported a story that brought back fond memories for us here.

A while back, Inside Magic reported on the comings and goings at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. You remember, don’t you? Dixie Dooley was losing his space at the hotel and another family of performers was discussing whether to stay.

The point of the article way back when was to note the incredible pressure upon magicians (and other acts) to “cover their nut” in the high-stakes world of “four-walled shows.”

Is it coming back to you now? Remember we talked about the Amazing Johnathan’s move from Downtown to the Riviera where he had a one-year contract essentially subletting a four-walled theater?

Well, it’s amazing how fast a year goes by. AJ is heading down the strip to the beautiful Sahara property and not looking back.

Why? Can’t he, like, you know, keep a job?

Imagine you were living on your own, your parents didn’t send you rent money, you barely made it by dancing on street corners and by pretending to eat Drano washed down by Windex. Now, imagine people liked you, they really liked you. They told their friends about you and soon, you had entire rooms full of people screaming your name, laughing at your jokes before you even say them, worshipping your creativity, trying to touch your hair when you were at a stall in the men’s room. (The last one may be unique to us — the point is made, though. You’re a hit!)

Now the man that rents the street corner from the real man; you know, The Man, gets jealous. The landlord doesn’t have to pay anymore for the street corner — some would say it wasn’t much of a street corner until you came along and stapled playing cards to the face of a beautiful and hysterical comedic psychic.

The landlord says, “Hey, love your act. I love it so much; I’m going to double your rent for this year.”

You say, “no way!”

The landlord says, “Way.”

You’re bumming. You are making more money because more people are coming to see you but that’s just paying for all the high-tech black art gear and advertisements.

You say to the landlord, “Dude, why would you go and do this to me? I’m pulling in tons of traffic past your other shows. That’s good all around. Don’t you care?”

Penny “Psychic Tanya” Wiggins

The landlord puts his Phillies Blunt out on your assistant’s blonde head.

“That’s just the point. You’re taking away from my crowds. They’re coming here to see either your show, Crazy Girls, or An Evening at La Cage. They decide to see your show and so my shows suffer. I know I don’t have to pay much for costumes to either of the nudie, adult extravaganzas and the music is all pre-recorded, but still, I have to cover my nut too!”

You shake your head as your assistant shakes hers. She’s shaking it to get the strange-smelling ashes from her scalp. You’re shaking your head because the landlord is major-league missing the point.

You start to tell the landlord about the frog and the scorpion.

How the scorpion wanted to cross the stream and the frog said he wouldn’t take him ‘cuz he feared the scorpion would sting him mid-way across and he’d drown.

The scorpion says something like, “Right! Sure! But it would make me drown too, Amphibious-pal.”

The frog starts to take him and right about half-way, the scorpion stings the frog and they proceed to their watery grave.

“Why’d you do that?” the frog asks.

“I dunno,” the scorpion says, “it’s just my nature.”

You decide not to tell the story because the landlord wouldn’t get it and you’ve got a better deal up the strip towards where the cabs actually stop, and nice young men and women hand out business cards showing impoverished waifs who cannot afford to buy clothing and have been bronzed by their exposure to the desert sun. It is a good thing they do; helping those poor girls who are often so starved they seem to be biting their fingers for nourishment.

So that’s the deal. On May 6th, the Amazing Johnathan takes his moves up the street. He brings with him the reason we see his show over-and-over, Psychic Tanya played by the beautiful Penny Wiggins. He will also likely bring loyal fans and their hard-earned money.

But, the landlord will have open space again. That has got to be better than having an act you worry is competing against your dancing girls (La Cage) or dancing girls with severe mental illness (Crazy Girls). The latter are likely suffering from schizophrenia because of the need to expose themselves to strangers in hotels (See, DSM IV for description and treatment options.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, AJ and Tanya made incredible ticket sales and surpassed both La Cage and Insane Women half way through the one year contract.

The Amazing Johnathan’s last show at the Riviera is April 20th. He wrote an email to fans and thanked the Riviera for a “great year.” He added, “It was really a blast, and we are sad about having to leave what we thought would be our home for a long time.”

The landlord, Norbert Aleman, disagreed with AJ’s recollection of what happened. Mr. Aleman said “he agreed to a one-year deal with Johnathan’s rep in January. However, Johnathan came back and wanted a new deal with a different rep. ‘He made a deal and a deal’s a deal,’ Aleman said. ‘Nothing personal, but he’s crazy.'”

</}

Advertisements

Leave a Reply