Rick Thomas – I finally made it to see Rick Thomas’ magic show at the Sahara. I have to tell you, I really liked it. I love watching magic and Rick puts on an amazing show. It is also great to see the last of the ‘big cat’ magic shows left on the strip. I remember years ago when many showrooms had some sort of large animal in a show – Rick Thomas and his cats, Siegfried & Roy with their cats and elephant, and Bobby Berosini and his Orangutans to name just a few. Please spend the extra money to buy the tickets which include the meet and greet with Rick and the cats after the show. That after-show event is very educational as well as it gives you a chance to get fairly close to the tigers for a photo opportunity.

Rick Thomas and Ken Owens

Dirk Arthur – Speaking of magicians with cats, rumor has it that Dirk Arthur has re-opened at O’Shea’s Showroom next to the Flamingo (so I guess Rick is not the only ‘big cat’ show). Most of you will remember Dirk from his show at the Tropicana. Isn’t the showroom at O’Shea’s on the second floor of the casino? Questions are still being asked around town as to the health and safety of the cats and staff, and how they are getting them up to the showroom. In any event, I just pray that Dirk left his overpowering smoke machine behind at the Tropicana. I saw one of his last performances at the Tropicana and the smoke was so thick it made me cough and gag throughout the show.

Steve Dacri – If you like close-up / slight of hand magic, then you must check out Steve Dacri in the Shimmer Showroom at the Las Vegas Hilton. Even with VIP seating right next to the table where Steve was working from, I still could not see how he was doing the tricks. I had no idea Steve has been performing since back in the 1960’s and has been on so many TV shows throughout the years. There are no big illusions in this show, just 70 minutes of a true master working one on one with various audience members.

Mac King – Congratulations go out to Mac King and his comedy magic show for signing another extension to his contract. Mac just celebrated his 10 year anniversary at Harrah’s and has signed on for another 5 years. I have not seen Mac’s show yet, but have heard it is a wonderful afternoon show – and one of the few where kids are allowed, making it a perfect family experience.

OK, enough about magic this week . . .

Mark Maverick – This was opening week of hypnotist Mark Maverick’s show at the Canyon Club inside the Four Queens on Fremont Street. As a fellow hypnotist, I am always eager to scope out my colleague’s shows – just as any good performer should. Always go check out similar acts as yours – there is always something to learn – even if it’s somethingnot to do in your act. I wish Mark all the best - he has a ways to go to reach the caliber of Marc Savard’s hypnosis show on the strip.

Giovanni – What a real pleasant surprise on Sunday night at the Suncoast when a friend invited me to go see Giovanni.I have to be honest - I had not heard of him before and was not expecting very much. Boy was I wrong! The show was amazing. Giovanni is an incredible composer, pianist, and arranger. His music is instrumental ‘new age’ – just the stuff I love. Some of you might remember him, because back in 1986/87 he started his United States career playing in the private Palace Court room at Caesar’s Palace here in Las Vegas. Giovanni Marradi was born in Italy and his father was famed Italian trumpeter and conductor Alfredo Marradi. Giovanni has had a special running on PBS and can be seen on several infomercials on QVC. He and his family now make the San Diego, California area home. Giovanni – you now have a new fan, thanks for the great show!