Review Of Laughternoon, starring Adam London

Updated 04/27/2001

Laughternoon, starring Adam London (CLOSED)

By Chuck Rounds

Caesar's Magical Empire is an evening of dining and magical entertainment; presented at the "Magical Empire" inside Caesar's Palace. Guests are treated to a good dinner, complete with a personal magician/host. They can then watch both close-up magic and larger scale stage magic in one of two different venues. Additionally, guests can experience several other illusions; all in a wonderful Romanesque setting.

The evening begins immediately with "The Camber of Destiny"--apparently the only way to transport you to this other world. Unknown to most of the guests, this is the first illusion that people will experience. It appears as if all of the guests are descending deep into the bowels of Caesar's Palace. When, in reality, everyone is simply standing in one place with the room moving around them. I feel all right about divulging this trick, due to the fact that anyone leaving the Empire can certainly realize the they didn't have to ascend to get back to the casino, but the illusion is so complete that anyone can enjoy the experience whether they know it is a trick or not.

Everyone is then led to a dining chamber by a Centurion, where they are treated to a good dinner and a personal magician. The meal is surprisingly good--especially when you realize that each of these meals is mass produced. The food is good and the host/magician is enjoyable. Some of the tricks and jokes may be obvious or corny, but it appears to be all part of the fun for the evening. The meal sets the mood for the rest of the experience.

After the meal, guests are ushered to additional shows--either the close-up magic performance or the stage magic performance. The close-up magic performance takes place in the Secret Pagoda--a comfortable small and intimate space that is a perfect for watching some amazing slieght-of-hand. The small space is set up in such a way that you are never more than about 15 feet away for the magician. You are able to really scrutinize the tricks, and you can really be amazed.

The stage magic is performed in the Sultan's Palace. It is a larger theatre built specifically for this type of show. It is a theatre that is also very well done. It is comfortable, and it is a good venue for these performances. Audiences are treated to the magic of any number of quality magicians that are booked there.

In each of these two theatres, the acts are changed on a regular basis so that the Empire can be enjoyed time and time again.

In addition to each of these shows, there is also a fire show in the "Hub" of the Empire, the luminaria. It is filled with lights, sound, and fire; very reminiscent of many of the free shows on the Strip.

Also, the Magical Empire now offers "show only" tickets for patrons that want to see the magic, but skip the dinner. As it turns out, these tickets are a great bargain in a very high priced market. The "show only" ticket at the Magical Empire is a very good deal. For the ticket you get to see the close-up magic show, the stage magic production, and also the fire show in the center of the Empire. You also get to bask in the atmosphere of the Empire and enjoy the themed bars as well. It is a good deal, but there are also trappings with this ticket. It is obvious that the "show only" tickets are the "extra" revenue for the Empire and not the main source of income, and the patrons are treated as such. While waiting in line to gain entrance into the Empire, these patrons are virtually ignore, and when the hostess does acknowledge us, we seem to be more of a bother than anything else. This separation is very apparent as we watch how the "real" guests are treated. I mention these trappings because this is not the first time that I've gone with the "show only" ticket, and unfortunately, the same treatment has occurred every time. Once inside, however, the separation disappears and the enjoyment begins.

To truly enjoy the evening, one has to take time out to visit the bars that are in the Hub as well. Sometimes the show ushers can be a little pushy and are a little too insistent that people go from show to show. The shows are repeated all night, and the bars have their own charm that needs to be experienced.

The Magical Empire is a good experience and a fun evening. It is also a complete evening of dining and entertainment, and when you consider the cost of the dinner and the shows, it is a bargain in comparison to other shows on the Strip.