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DIRECT FROm GERMANY - illusions - Starring JAN ROUVEN - Unbelievable Magic. Undeniable Mystery.
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Jan Rouven's ILLUSIONS plays nightly 7 pm at the Riviera Hotel & Casino

2012-05-13 23:00:

Sleek, stylish, verging on couture and probably something you’d see in the crowd at a chic, post-goth nightclub, the costumed dancers of Jan Rouven’s Illusions are your first glimpse into the world of the German-born magician’s impressive production at the Riviera, but they’re only one aspect. Every detail in Illusions—from infectious Adele and Katy Perry remixes that form a contemporary musical backdrop, to moody lighting and artful dance interludes—is modern. Then, of course, there is Rouven himself. Effortless, charming and likeable, the illusionist is easily, and rightfully, the star of the night, commanding the rapt attention of the audience in the intimate Starlite Theatre with little effort from the moment he steps onto the twinkling stage.

It’s easy to see why Rouven keeps that attention beyond his personality, though: the magician’s tricks all share an undercurrent of danger that will have you on the edge of your seat. During Blades of Doom, two, enormous saw blades come careening towards a handcuffed Rouven, enclosed in a pyramid-shaped box and awaiting certain death, before he emerges unscathed, from somewhere offstage, beneath a flowing robe. Despite the thrill that courses through the audience during the more dangerous parts of the show, Rouven shines brightest when he’s interacting with the audience and involving willing members of the crowd in a trick. In one of our favorite moments of audience participation—a twist on Russian roulette involving hidden knives—Rouven asks a participant from the audience to rely on his own intuition, deciding whether or not the paper bag Rouven is about to smash his hand down on contains an upturned blade beneath it or not. To add to the suspense, Rouven enlists a separate audience member to mix up the bags, including the bag containing the blade, as Rouven and his intuitive audience member face the crowd and chat. It’s a trick that will leave you scratching your head with amazement in one of many, “How did he do that?” moments of the night.

Other favorite moments include Rouven’s eerily accurate prediction-in-a-box trick and his Houdini-esque water tank trick, which invites the audience to hold their breath along with a chained Rouven as he attempts to escape from a watery prison, chained to the bottom of a tank of water.

Whether you’ve seen every magic show in Vegas twice or none at all, Illusions will give you a new appreciation of modern magic and possibly, a favorite, new celebrity.

Illusions Starring Jan Rouven | Sat.-Thur. (dark Friday), 7 p.m. | $49, $69 & $99 VIP | Starlite Theatre, Riviera | 702-794-9433

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