(Photos shot by Sandy Zimmerman during the live show unless indicated.)
French-born Stephane Vanel brought a different type of magic to the Paris Resort. Stephane’s “The Magic of Paris” show is a perfect match, oh, la, la, as French as they get!
Stephane’s smooth card manipulations were amazing. Some of his classic movements were mixed with new innovations while others were his own creations. Switching from cards to coins and balls, Stephane took slight-of-hand magic to another level.
Stephane’s White Box illusion finale deserves rave reviews. The White Box is small and narrow only big enough for his petite female assistant. Once she enters the box the audience only sees her hands continuously moving. After he keeps making the box smaller and smaller, the audience wonders, “What happened to the girl?” You really have to experience this illusion for yourself.
Even though I was photographing the show near the stage, I couldn’t see how he did it!
Besides making objects or people appear and disappear at will, Stephane’s dancing talents are also demonstrated in his very sensual, hot tango that would probably win on “Dancing with the Stars”.
Although Stephane has appeared in several Las Vegas shows, this is his first time as headliner. His credits include a seven-year run in MGM Grand’s Crazy Horse Paris, as well as appearances in “Crazy Girls” at the Riviera. In France, Vanel gained fame hosting his own television series “Fun TV Magic” and soon became a worldwide success noted for his charm and magical skills.
But there is more than magic and illusions, you will be happy to see the show is also packed with a variety of acts- comedian Mark Kornhauser’s comedy, puppeteer Anthony Rais and a pair of beautiful female dancers.
Stand- out Mark Kornhauser’s original act includes playing “Auld Lang Syne” with his nose on a violin, imitating Elmer Fudd while his mouth is full of pop rocks candy, and eating a balloon.
Entertaining the audience was easy for Mark especially when he wore the Humanette puppet. Mark’s own head appeared and his hands manipulated the puppet’s feet while his assistant stood behind him as the second puppeteer with her arms becoming the puppet’s arms. The puppet’s miniature comic body hangs down from the puppeteer’s neck when he brings the character to life. It’s a hilarious shtick!
Mark’s puppets include Zsa Zsa the Singing Wonder Dog and other characters. Zsa Zsa was featured in the show “Wowzapalloza” and at Hollywood’s Magic Castle. Mark invented comedy/magic illusions and acted as a magic consultant/ writer for Doug Henning, David Copperfield, Terry Fator, and other professional magicians, comics, and entertainers.
Another highlight of the show, Anthony Rais keeps the art of the marionettes alive. In my travels, I have seen several traditional types of marionettes/puppets in Thailand, China, and Japan. The art of puppetry has been handed down from ancient times. The marionettes hang from a bar which controls the strings. Normally puppets have only 9 strings but Anthony’s are regulated by 23 strings. You can imagine all of the complex combinations he has to perform. Basic strings are usually attached to the head, back, hands (to control the arms) and just above the knee (to control the legs).
Anthony’s marionette clown Totolino shocks the audience by blowing up a balloon and floating in the air to the music from Pagliacci.
Viva La Difference! The Magic of Paris is a great show for the whole family! For information, call (877)-374-7469). Stephane Vanel’s “The Magic of Paris” appears Tuesday through Sunday, in the Anthony Cools Experience Showroom, at the Paris Resort. Two shows daily: 4 and 6:00 p.m. www.markkornhauser.com www.anthonyrais.com www.parislv.com
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