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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Las Vegas headliners Penn and Teller to play Centennial Hall

    Chris Welsch
    Penn Jillette stands tall on the roof of the Rio, where he performs magical illusions nightly in the duo Penn & Teller. (Chris Welsch/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT)

    A taste of Vegas is coming to the UA with comedy magic headliners Penn and Teller.

    Known for their outrageous pranks and clever tricks, Penn and Teller have become one of the most popular acts in Las Vegas, and they’re bringing their performance to Centennial Hall on Friday.

    The duo pushes the boundaries of traditional magic, and pokes fun at it, as it perform tricks like suspending Teller, in a straitjacket, over a series of spikes or nails. Named “two of the funniest comedians alive” by Entertainment Weekly and winners of the 2011 Las Vegas Magician of the Year award, Penn Jillette and Teller have been performing together for more than 35 years “with sold-out runs on Broadway, world tours” and dozens of appearances on the “Late Show with David Letterman” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” among others, according to their official website.

    It’s been 10 years since their last performance at Centennial Hall, and the comedy illusionist team is back, said Glenn Alai, Penn & Teller show executive director.

    “Every time we play at the UA at Centennial Hall we have a great time,” Alai said. “It’s always a good crowd for us and it’s a nice theater to work. The U of A students really seem to get the show.”

    The show comes packed in the middle of a busy schedule for the duo. The group has its own television program on the Discovery Channel, called “Penn & Teller Tell a Lie,” and Penn is a contestant on the newest season of the “Celebrity Apprentice.” Between Las Vegas performances and TV shows, they only tour about 10 to 15 other places each year, and officials at the UA are thrilled to be part of the tour.

    “It’s exciting for us,” said Darsen Campbell, UApresents marketing and publicity manager. “We like to bring all the top acts in the fields.”

    UApresents starts planning its schedule about a year in advance and is all about variety, Campbell said.

    “The nature of being illusionists appeals to a wide variety of people,” Campbell said. “It’s something hot and it’s something current.”

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