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Keith Barry (CLOSED)
By Chuck Rounds
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Keith Barry is playing inside the Stomp Theatre at Planet Hollywood Resort. Keith is an amazing performer. He combines a little magic, with a little hypnosis, with a little psychology, along with a lot of panache, and other things that are geared to simply mess with you mind. He creates a spectacle that is truly engaging. He defies most of the labels that are placed upon him---the one that I like the best is "Psychological Illusionist." He is currently playing a limited run, but hopes that his niche will generate enough interest to land him an extended and open-ended run. Keith relates, "The show is much more about the people instead of boxes. It's a very interactive experience. I take volunteers out of the audience for almost all of the sections."
We have a lot of magicians in Las Vegas. We are replete. Most of us could throw a rock in this town and hit a magician...and yet, every now and then, someone comes up with a unique variation on this entire magical scene that we have going on, and suddenly our doors are wide open. We welcome them and are eager to see what they can do. We now have Keith Barry on the scene.
Growing up in Ireland, Keith had a love for magic at an early age, but his parents pushed him into having a "real" career---which meant getting a degree in Cosmetic Science. His girlfriend, however, was a Psychology major, which seemed to interest Keith deeply, and the combination of psychology and magic worked for him on many levels. It also caught the interest of outsiders that began to book him for shows.
Keith sold out shows across Europe and is known for an array of mystifying talents ranging from hypnotic effects such as inducing temporary amnesia and paralysis, to bizarre magic such as stopping his pulse and dying on stage! He has become a European superstar mind illusionist who first astonished U.S. audiences with his celebrity- filled hour-long magic TV special for CBS, "Keith Barry Extraordinary." In addition to "Extraordinary," Keith has just come off a sold-out, two-year European tour bolstered by his own MTV show "Brainwashed," and multiple primetime specials on ITV in addition to his hit TV series "Close Encounters with Keith Barry."
One of his feats involves taking a volunteer's hand and smashing a lessening number of Styrofoam cups. Known to both is that there is a metal spike hidden under one of the cups...known to neither is where it is. The point of course is to smash all of the cups except the one with the spike...and of course he is blindfolded. Being his volunteer, I was quite unnerved...my only solace was the thought that if this went wrong, I could write a really mean and nasty review...I would be writing one-handed of course, but that didn't happen. I have seen every magic show in town multiple times; I have worked on several magic shows, and I was astonished.
His show is a series of these outrageous and amazing feats. The only downside to his production is that many of these feats are more cerebral rather than spectacular and so a lot of them come off as, "Oooo, interesting," rather than stand-up and applaud.
I wish him well. He is a really nice guy, and I wish him the absolute best. Keith brings us something truly interesting, and I hope that he does generate the interest that he needs to extend his run.