Mike Weatherford’s entertainment column each week in the Las Vegas Review-Journal is always a must-read.
Mr. Weatherford has his boot on the pulse in the neck that is Las
Vegas Entertainment. Today’s story is a cautious one. Mr. Weatherford
doesn’t come out and say it, but he’s seen a few magicians enter Vegas
with a new idea, lots-o-energy, and hopes; only to leave sapped of
ideas, energy and hopes.
In that way, Vegas treats the entertainer like the gambler.
Some win, just like those people pictured with the over-sized check
plastered in the buffet areas of the casinos. Lance Burton, David
Copperfield, Siegfried & Roy, are just a few of Magic’s version of
the over-sized check winners. But for every big winner, every Player;
there are thousands of players with a lower-case “p” betting away their
hard-earned cash. Some losers will walk away and describe the fleecing
as “entertainment.” Some will never make it home or the home to which
they return will have changed as dramatically as their fortunes.
“Those are big dice,” Tom Hardy III said to the pit-boss during his
first trip to Vegas. The statement was filled with sage wisdom and a
sense of blithe acceptance of the inherent risk one accepts upon
entering the casino. Few recalled the statement but did recall the very
quick fist-fight that landed our ancestor in the Clark County Hospital
from the husband of a woman playing next to Tom Hardy.
He may have mistaken Tom’s meaning and became violent. Perhaps the
husband thought the magician’s comment pertained not to the risk
associated with Craps, but with the wife’s shapely figure.
It is always tough to read another’s true intentions.
The fact that Tom, the woman and her jealous husband were playing
Blackjack at the time of the comment undercuts Tom’s later claims that
the statement was innocent.
At 23, “Curtis Adams is the youngest magician to materialize as a
local headliner. He hopes to rock downtown with his self-produced show
at the Plaza.”
So is Mr. Adams a Player? Or will he, as they say in the NFL, “get run”?
His ambitions are high but not new. “Adams turned 23 on Monday, but
figures he’s still young enough to ‘change the face of magic.'” “It’s a
big goal,” he adds with laugh. “We’re not there yet.”
Mr. Adams tells Mr. Weatherford, “‘Adrenaline — Magic That Rocks’
aspires ‘to make magic cool and to make it mainstream.’ I want to make
it all right for people to say, ‘Yeah, I’m going to see this magic
Who knew? We didn’t. We had no idea there was a stigma attached to seeing a magic show.
Mr. Adams will redefine the way a magician moves and talks onstage.
“A lot of people say they’re doing it,” he says, “but a lot of people
aren’t doing it.”
Mr. Weatherford asks the obvious question — actually, the second
most obvious question. There’s no sense in asking the most obvious one,
the guy already has a gig.