Darren Romeo in Las Vegas - a review
Wednesday July 24, 2002 at the Mirage
Ever since I had heard that Darren Romeo would be performing his own full show in Las Vegas while I would be there this summer, I was convinced that my wife and I would catch his show. I could find no info about it on the internet; but immediately found an ad for his show as we stopped at a "Las Vegas Tourist Information Center" on the way into town. We bought our tickets that day for the following afternoon's show.
Darren Romeo is performing at 3 p.m. in the Siegfried and Roy Theatre at The Mirage.
Like the Lance Burton Theatre, the Siegfried and Roy Theatre theatre is well suited for an illusion show. The Lance Burton Theatre is more of a traditional theatre setting while the Siegfried and Roy Theatre is of a more modern design with some seating between the apron and the stage. The visitor is greeted by a darkened theatre with hundreds of small lights resembling stars in the sky and a large DR (for Darren Romeo) projected on the curtain.
Illusions have always been my favorite branch of magic and I might point out that I have seen most of the "greats" over the years with my wife and had told her that this was one show that she should really enjoy. We were not disappointed.
The show begins with the curtains parting to reveal a laser cone of light projected into the stage fog. Slowly Darren Romeo makes his appearance at the center of this cone of light and walks and sings his way down hidden steps to the stage floor - great voice and visually interesting opening.
The lights come up and Darren takes his seat on a small wooden chair near the front of the stage. He is covered with a large cloth only to instantly vanish with a flash and bang - a nice twist to the DeKolta Vanishing Lady illusion. As soon as we see that he has vanished, he appears in the middle of the audience at the rear of the theatre.
The next illusion is the first that Darren ever did as a magician. His lovely assistant has worked with him since they were teens - and it shows. It is she who appears in his Crystal Casket Illusion. I really need to point out that Darren sings throughout the show. This singing covers over dead spots in the presentation of the illusions. With his delightful presentation, there was no need to kill time by pointlessly turning the box around. Her appearance just seemed to happen. This illusion was done on the apron and thus surrounded by the audience.
Moving back to the stage proper, Darren did a cute variation of the dancing hank effect with white tiger tails (what else in the Siegfried and Roy Theatre?).
To demonstrate his conjuring skills, Darren performed a close-up four coin assembly routine which was projected onto a large screen for all to clearly see. After this well done effect and assisted by a real spectator, he proceeded to float the table used in the coin trick. Darren himself, moving from the midst of the audience, ended up back on the apron with the floating table.
The next effect was the first time I had ever seen a sub trunk delivered by elevator! The packing box for this illusion was brought on to the stage by a lift at the center of the apron - cool touch. Beautifully singing throughout the routine, he presented the classic without wasting time slapping the sides of the box, showing the bag, etc. His assistant apparently instantly switched places ending up inside of the packing box. She appeared now wearing a large set of butterfly wings - appropriate when you consider Houdini's name for this illusion. I really can not emphasize how wonderful the singing and magic work together.
Next an assistant was produced from a small cage of fire.
The energy in this show is truly wonderful. Darren is literally all over the theatre singing and doing his illusions. He is fun to watch and to hear. He climbed a ladder at stage right and walked a tightrope wire made of laser light as he presented another great musical selection.
The curtains parted to reveal a large illuminated fish bowl around 5 feet in diameter suspended above the stage. This prop is beautiful in its own right. An assistant was loaded into a large cannon and "shot" into the giant fish bowl where she instantly appeared bearing the identification mark she received before entering the cannon. The appearance of the girl swimming in the fish bowl was very novel and wonderful "eye candy".
A white grand paino was produced. The show's musical director played the piano as Darren serenaded a female member of the audience while making a tissue rose for her. At the end of the song, the rose burst into flame turning into a real rose.
A large covered chalkboard was lowered from the flies as Darren obtained some information from randomly selected members of the audience. The information appeared mysteriously on the large slate as it was uncovered.
The lights were dimmed slightly to set the mood for a real classic of magic - the Blackstone Floating Light Bulb. The last time I saw this performed was by Harry Blackstone, Jr. in Branson shortly before his untimely death. Darren does a nice job with it. The illusion is in good hands - he did not spill the milk.
While the stage is being set for the final illusion sequence and to demonstrate his vocal abilities, Darren breaks a glass with his voice. During this particular performance, he even did it in delayed mode!
The show ends with a nice combination of illusions. While Darren entertains us with his delightful singing, he ends up walking through a piece of glass, levitates his assistant first with a version of the Aga and later with a unique rendition of the Asrah.
This energy filled exciting performance lasted only about 70 minutes. Darren certainly left the audience wanting more. His voice is truly wonderful, the range is more octives than I can even dream about, and his diction is great. The teamwork between Darren and his long time assistant/friend was very apparent throughout the show. My wife and I throughly enjoyed this really different presentation of magic and music. Darren comes across as a friendly young man who is thrilled to be able to entertain his audience with his voice and magic. I feel that he will become a very "big name" in magic over the next few years.
After the show, Darren was available for photos and autographs. Staff were also were selling his CD. It contains the great music from his show. We enjoyed listening to it and reliving the performance on our drive back to Tucson.
Siegfried and Roy have rightfully earned their own place in magic history and their helping the young talented Darren Romeo has helped to move magic on to a new level of excellence. S&R, thanks! If you get to Las Vegas, be certain to see this great show. And by all means get his CD!