…What invariably sets one magic show apart from the other are the magicians themselves and the variations on the forms that can often lead to genuine surprises.
For instance, Rob Lake, star of “The Magic of Rob Lake” at Harrah’s Tahoe through Sept. 4, takes the Houdini chestnut of a metamorphosis, usually performed with a magician supposedly locked in a trunk appearing quickly on top of it as a cloth is raised and dropped, and performs it with people from the audience right there, indeed lifting and dropping the cloth… Audiences are spared any long build-ups to illusions, ending up liking him very much indeed…. He establishes his uniqueness immediately, a series of women suddenly appearing in boxes clearly established as being empty…. all seeming new when they pop up in poses projected on screens on the boxes, including one with legs and torso clearly separated. The woman sawed in half is done so as an homage to P.T. Selbit, the English magician who first performed the illusion on stage in 1921. A wonderful sequence including multicolored sands and a globe of water hearkens back to ancient Egypt.
To make the show even more enjoyable, the audience is engaged whenever possible…. Where, with some entertainers, audience members are reluctant to join in, here they seem eager, but Lake wisely does not overwork the concept. He is the magician. He is not just filling time.
“The Magic of Rob Lake” is no small summer fill-in show, put together only to occupy space and serve the family trade while the big names appear in the Harveys Amphitheater across the highway. It is a large production, taking up four semis to transport and 20 people to stage, and it holds its own as a show worth planning a trip to see…..
Rob Lake brings the magic to Harrah’s
BY MEL SHIELDS