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July 2, 2015

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Penn & Teller’s anniversary and contract renewal celebrates 20 years of magic in Las Vegas



Penn Jillette and the Opportunity Village Elvi.

Penn and Teller's 10th Anniversary

Penn & Teller at the 10th anniversary celebration of Penn & Teller and their new three-year contract at The Rio on Oct. 26, 2010. Launch slideshow »

To celebrate their 20th anniversary in Las Vegas, Rio magician headliners Penn & Teller plan to turn back the clock Friday night. I’ve learned exclusively that their 25-minute mini-show at their Rio home will be material they performed here at Bally’s when they arrived on The Strip in 1993.

Two of the three pieces from 20 years ago haven’t been seen in Las Vegas since. I also can confirm our earlier scoop that Caesars Palace and Rio President Gary Selesner will announce their astounding six-year contract extension from the stage. It will be followed by a celebration hosted by the good folks at our sister publication Vegas Magazine.

I also think it safe to say that Penn & Teller will share again the story of how they climbed atop Bally’s on their first week to rake away mounds of bird droppings so they could hang up their own opening-night signage.

Incidentally, Penn Jillette, the gregarious vocal half of the duo, has completed filming a Las Vegas segment for his second-season appearance on Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice.” Penn is playing to win funds for our beloved charity Opportunity Village, and he insisted on NBC filming Jesse Garon and the O.V. Elvis troupe as part of the segment.

Jesse, the official Las Vegas Elvis, created the group for O.V. clients after learning that they used to make the scarves the King handed out to fans at his concerts. “Elvis’ perspiration became an O.V. inspiration when Col. Tom Parker gave us the exclusive contract to produce them,” said Linda Smith, O.V. chief development officer.

The O.V. Elvis troupe, comprised of 12 dancers and six drummers, surprised Penn with a performance of “Blue Suede Shoes,” which will be aired on a May episode. After the filming, Jesse made Penn an honorary member of the O.V. Elvi and presented him with signature Elvis glasses complete with sideburns.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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  1. Penn and Teller I think is the most Under Publicized Show on the Strip (except for the sign on the RIO). I was impressed by the Non Frenzy and just intelligent segments of this show that does not come screaming at you to get your attention, like a clown at most of the towns Circus Acts.