Reports: Lance Burton to Leave Monte Carlo 5 Years Early

Lance Burton the True Master Magician Performs in Happier TimesJohn Katsilometes and Robin Leech of The Las Vegas Sun gave hints of the potentially incredibly bad or frustrating news earlier this holiday weekend.

Apparently based on a rumor heard while covering the Bernard Hopkins – Roy Jones Jr. boxing match at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Mr. Katsilometes  wrote that Lance Burton “is suddenly the focus of reports originated by Channel 3 entertainment reporter Alicia Jacobs that he is abruptly leaving the hotel.”

In turn, Channel 3’s Alicia Jacobs was offering updates via Twitter whilst many of the Vegas press covered the fight.

Ms. Jacobs “reported that an ‘excellent’ source has told her Burton was told to cut his show’s budget. In turn, she reports, he has told the company he would rather leave, and the company plans to turn him loose.”

Could it be true?  MGM’s press person had no substantive comment; telling The Sun he could neither confirm or deny the report.

We read that as a confirmation of the bad news.  If the report was wrong, why not deny it straight out?

Lance Burton has performed in the beautifully appointed Lance Burton Theater for the last thirteen years.  In fact, the performer of what Johnny Carson called “the best twelve minutes in magic” signed a deal with Monte Carlo for another six years.

Less than a year into the new deal, Lance Burton has apparently determined the house’s demands that he cut the show’s budget would hurt the show’s well-earned reputation for quality, innovation, and professionalism.

Understandably, Lance Burton’s people have not yet responded to Inside Magic’s request for confirmation or some statement.

We will continue to monitor the Twitter Tape, the papers, and any credible source we can find.

However, at this time neither MGM Mirage spokeswoman Stephanie Heller nor Burton’s PR rep Wayne Bernath have confirmed those reports. “I can’t confirm or deny,” said Heller, who is on-site and (coincidentally) who herself is leaving MGM Mirage on April 23 to move to Israel in four months.

Said Bernath: “At this time it’s just a rumor.”

The 50-year-old Burton opened at Monte Carlo in 1996 and has had one of the more successful and critically acclaimed production shows on the Strip. In July of 2009, he signed an extended six-year contract with the hotel for him to continue performing at the theater bearing his name until 2015.

Updates to be provided as the evening unfolds.

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