The Casino File: Tix for Penn & Teller’s December Hard Rock Atlantic City gig on sale Friday
Consider this a public-service announcement—especially for those who have never seen a Penn &Teller performance: Tickets for the Las Vegas-based dynamic duo’s Dec. 10 and 11 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City debut are now on sale. This is monumental news because, in the opinion of this writer, P&T comprise the greatest show-business act of the past 45 years—and maybe all-time.
At this point, you are no doubt thinking, “Pray tell, Chuckster, why do you dispense such high praise re: Penn & Teller?” Well, funny you should ask.
Essentially, it boils down to this: There has never been an act that does what they do: You might not like Ray Romano, but you do like Sebastian Maniscalco. Or you may not care for Pink, but you adore Lady Gaga. However, the team’s astonishing, hilarious and ultra-clever melding of comedy and magic makes it impossible to provide an “or” to their “either.” What they do is truly and inarguably “one-of-a-kind.”
And, for this guy, at least, it’s not as much about what they do, but about how they conceive and design said mind-boggling/side-splitting material.
In early May, the stars aligned in a manner that allowed me to catch one of their first post-pandemic-shutdown performances at the Rio All Suites Hotel Casino in Las Vegas—the off-Strip property where they’ve spent the past 20 years—a headliner (as opposed to production show) record.
The set included several new routines (an almost Orwellian word, considering their originality), all of which mystified and delighted the (socially distanced) audience. To me, that they continue to operate with an-almost-supernatural degree of creativity after some 45 years together puts them at the top of the “Great Entertainers” heap.
Bottom line: Do not miss Penn & Teller at the Hard Rock!
A change of address
As noted above, the December dates will be the team’s first at Hard Rock. But they will also mark the continuation of a long and mutually beneficial association with Atlantic City’s casinos industry.
The pair first headlined in 1987 at the now-demolished Trump Plaza. They also appeared at the Claridge Casino Hotel when what is currently a Radisson-branded non-casino hotel was a gambling den. More recently, their annual gigs in Atlantic City have taken place at either Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City or Caesars Atlantic City, as they were the Rio’s corporate siblings. But in 2019, The Rio was sold by Caesars Entertainment, which made P&T Atlantic City free agents.
That they landed at the Rock wasn’t surprising; they have been regulars for years at the chain’s flagship property in Hollywood, Fla.