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February 21, 2019

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Nathan Burton, Michael Turco reappear after disappearing act in tangle

Rufus Wins Best In Show

Steve Marcus

Magician Nathan Burton poses with Rufus, a 1-year-old St. Bernard mix, during the Animal Foundation’s ninth annual “Best in Show” fundraiser at the Orleans Arena on Sunday, April 22, 2012. Rufus later received the award for Best in Show.

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Michael Turco in "Magic and Mayhem" at V Theater in Planet Hollywood.

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David Saxe, producer of V - The Ultimate Variety Show and Vegas! The Show.

It was musical chairs for dueling magicians Nathan Burton and Michael Turco, and at first it also looked like it would be magic wands at dawn! Plans for Nathan to film his upcoming reality TV series at his Flamingo afternoon theater performances hit a snag in rules and regulations.

Then Michael, who was in the same afternoon time slot with his “Magic & Mayhem” at Saxe Theater in Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile Shops, ran into his own problems. Theater owner David Saxe explained: “We had tried to solve some of the economic problems with concessions and gave him time to correct some of the defaults in the lease.”

Michael had to pull out on the same night that Nathan also had to exit after his nearly five-year run just up the Strip. Within 24 hours of the dual “midnight changeovers,” Nathan had landed at Saxe Theater and began his new residency run there with the TV show being shot without hiccups.

Now Michael, who collaborated with “Dancing With the Stars” beauty Lacey Schwimmer for his show, is hoping that he’ll grab another slot on the Strip, maybe the Flamingo since it now doesn’t have an afternoon performer?

It all looked as if it was going to be a major controversy as rumors escalated and accusations flew. But in the end, theater owner David told me Tuesday: “We have signed a settlement agreement. There is now no dispute. It’s all amicably resolved.”

Nathan told me: “It’s a new two-year deal with options, and I couldn’t be happier. I really enjoyed working at the Flamingo. It looked as if all the months of planning with Fremantle for the reality TV series was running into a roadblock, but now it’s on the fast track. I’m very excited about the freedom we’ll have to shoot for the series at Saxe Theater.”

Michael, a member of the Society of American Magicians who appeared on “Masters of Illusion” and “America’s Got Talent,” told me: “As a magician, even I was mystified for the first time in my life and was planning to go on showing up every day at 4 p.m. I didn’t want to breach my contract with a disappearing act. I don’t want to get a bad rep or anything like that in this town.

“I am just a performer who brought my show from the East Coast. I worked in Atlantic City for four years, with Harrah’s Entertainment. Now I am looking into every option for my team of nine dancers and crew. I have nothing against Nathan; he is a great performer.

“I love Las Vegas, I love the environment, I love the people, and I think it is a great place to be at. Magic is a dream come true for a magician to perform in Las Vegas, and I just want to do a show. I don’t want to be portrayed in any negative way or say anything against anybody.”

David summed up: “We really wish Michael well. He has a great future. We are also pleased that Nathan will be shooting his new TV series here.”

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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