By Mike Weatherford – Las Vegas Review-Journal
Magicians like to turn things inside out, and two of them are doing just that to the conventional rules of working one’s way up the Las Vegas ladder.
Mike Hammer demonstrates that you don’t have to move to move up. And Dirk Arthur proves he belongs on a big stage — even if belonging there isn’t the same as earning the right to be there.
Both of them remind us that if you think magicians are interchangeable, you haven’t been in Las Vegas very long.
Arthur and his exotic tigers and leopards ended up, almost by default, on the stage where Elvis Presley once sang. In recent years only two small venues were available to his traditional and increasingly old-fashioned illusions show — O’Sheas and then the old “La Cage” showroom at the Riviera — and both of them cut his tenure short by closing their doors.
But he found the Westgate also in need, after an ambitious plan for Elvis-themed shows went south. New management was suddenly in the mood to lease the showroom operation to the producers of Arthur’s show at the Riviera.
When he reopened in late August, a lot of people were right to ask how Arthur can fill a big theater when he couldn’t fill a small one. It’s still not a terrible question, but two things at least explain the logic. Read more..