One Night in Vegas
Weymouth Pavilion
August 8th, 2007
Reviewed by Ian Keable

The principal reason for magicians to catch One Night in Vegas is because of the input of Daniel Dean, who was the British Champion of Illusion in 2001. Most of the show is devoted to the singing talents of Martyn Lucas who performs middle of the road popular hits (from Candle in the Wind through My Way to Love Changes Everything) with the assistance of five excellent musicians and six hard working dancing girls (who also double up as Dean’s assistants). Indeed for a touring show this is high budget entertainment; and Martyn is an exuberant and talented singer, impressionist and piano player.

But, hey, you want to know about the magic. Daniel Dean has two spots, one in each half. He does a mixture of illusions and front of house tricks. In so doing he displays two rather different persona. When he talks, Dean has a slightly camp style, almost ‘Joe Pasqualeish’ at times – very likeable. He tells a number of hackneyed gags very effectively and does a rather derivative version of Paul Daniels’ Six Card Repeat. The audience warmed to him from the start.

When Dean becomes the illusionist, he changes into dramatic, mysterious style with exaggerated hand gestures and choreographed steps. When he goes for silent comedy – as in the Twister Illusion – he emphasises the agony with a grimaced face. Apart from this latter illusion he also performed a version of Things That Go Bump in the Night, a Girl Cage Production and a couple of Levitation effects. His other tricks were a standard four Linking Ring routine, some rather too frenzied card manips and Sonny Hayes & Co’s ‘Cups and Balls’ with a woman’s head, culminating in the vanish of the woman at the end.

Apart from a couple of card steals, the magic is well performed and well received by the appreciative audience. From a magician’s perspective it would be nice to see a little more originality in Dean’s presentations. Ironically – because he himself said at one point that ‘comedy really isn’t his thing’ - I feel Dean’s future may lie more as a patter act rather than an illusionist.

All credit to Martyn Lucas who, as producer, is presumably gambling his bank balance. To tour with this type of relatively traditional variety show in this day and age is high risk; and it deserves support. Definitely worth a look on its journey through the country to August 2008.

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© Ian Keable, August 2007