Friday, Jan. 23, 1998 | 9:52 a.m.
Let it be known that I am not one who is easily offended.
So, I didn't expect to be flabbergasted the last time I caught magician Lance Burton's act five or so years ago at the since-imploded Hacienda hotel-casino.
It wasn't the bare-breastedness of Burton's beautiful troupe of female assistants that left me flustered (Hey, it's Vegas, what'd ya expect?).
It was more the, shall we say, compromising positions that the ladies were situated in throughout the show, i.e. straddling Burton during a levitation trick, that wrinkled my brow.
I don't know, maybe it was something I'd eaten that night that left the sour taste in my mouth. In any case, I went into Burton's 7:30 show Thursday night at the Monte Carlo fully prepared for that phantom prudishness to surface once again.
Instead, I was pleasantly surprised.
Complementing the elegant aesthetics of the immense showroom, Burton's is nothing short of a class act.
Still aided by a handful of beauties -- who don more, although still scant, clothing now -- the "master magician" possesses a comforting charm that breathes fresh air into even the simplest of card tricks.
While still a part of the show, the levitation bit -- minus the straddle -- comes across as more tasteful now. And Burton's menagerie of feathered friends, which includes a handful of boisterous ducks -- "Yes, they're much harder to train than white tigers," he jokes with the audience -- are truly an entertaining bunch of birds.
You'll find yourself waiting for Goudeau -- comedic juggler Michael Goudeau, who is, in essence, the show's half-time performer -- to reappear with his slapstick brand of humor throughout the last leg of the show.
Wondering how Burton makes a little white Corvette disappear? So were audience members. "How'd you do that," one shouted during a break in the action, to which the magic man replied the obligatory "If I told you, I'd have to kill you."
"Tell my wife," another crowdy cried. Leave it to Burton's quick wit: "Donald Trump, ladies and gentlemen."
Thanks for putting the fun back into magic, Lance.
Lisa Ferguson is an Accent staff writer.