Las Vegas & Penn & Teller

Whoa, what a long day in transit! Portsmouth to Boston, to Chicago, to Vegas… took about 13 hours, door to door. But we arrived safely and Mr K sweet talked the check in clerk at the Bellagio and got us a room upgrade to a high floor with a view of the strip and the famous Bellagio fountains, which is really quite spectacular. So after a few hours settling in and enjoying the enormous shower, we dressed up and decided to head over to the Rio to see Penn & Teller – because Vegas is all about the tickets, and we have tickets! ūüėÄimageOn heading out the Bellagio north entrance you can see the Rio on the other side of Frank Sinatra drive, and after being cooped up in planes all day we thought we’d walk there – it looked predominantly flat, it was cool without being cold and we really needed to stretch a bit. OMG. Big mistake. You can see it, and it LOOKS like there are sufficient pedestrian access areas around the freeway, but not so much. We walked for a couple of kilometres and seemed to be getting further away from our destination, not closer, and then there turned out to be a couple of non-traversable escarpments and culverts in the way too. So, we eventually had to give up and flag a cab to get us to the show. Lesson learned, if it’s not on the strip, don’t even bother trying to walk!

But we got to the show in plenty of time, and had great seats, Row D front and centre. I’m not a huge Penn & Teller fan, I haven’t seen them before and I haven’t watched a lot of their TV shows. You can probably sum up what I know about Penn & Teller from a recent pro-vaccination campaign that’s been going around, and from an old episode of the West Wing where they do a trick burning an American Flag wrapped up in the Bill of Rights in the White House for Zoe’s birthday…

So I had no idea exactly what to expect of the show, except that it is likely to be part politics, part atheism, and a little illusion and misdirection throw in on the side – and that is largely right. What I wasn’t expecting was for them to start pulling apart and explaining how other illusionists are doing their tricks, debunking how mentalists and mind readers do their thing – they’re calling Bullshit on nearly all of their colleagues, which I thought was quite funny considering they are doing the exact same sorts of things, but with a political and religious conscience.
image Anyway, they did do the American flag burning trick, which was very cool, but they did it twice and second time around showed you how it was done… all the while poking fun at China and their lack of rights. They did the old sawing the girl in half trick, showing you how all the other magicians pull that trick off, but then they pushed it a bit further leading you to speculate, ‘well, if that is how the others do it, how did you just do that?’ Teller did some very accomplished sleight of hand tricks where he appeared to be turning droplets of water into coins, and then coins into goldfish which was very cleverly done, and the big finale at the end was a ‘magic bullet’ trick.

They got two firearms savvy guys up on stage (a Texas Deputy Sheriff and a US Marine) on either side of a wide yellow ribbon, and gave them each a .357 revolver to check over and determine if it was a real gun – apparently yes, no tricky guns. Had them confirm that two panels of suspended glass were in fact real glass. They gave them each a bullet to write on – their names on the projectile and a picture or something else on the bullet casing, and then they loaded these two revolvers and set them into a stand while P&T got dressed in protective eyewear, a kevlar vest and helmets. Then they stood at opposite ends of a bare stage and with laser sights on the revolvers, and telling they audience to plug their ears, they appeared to shoot directly at one another. The panels had bullet holes in them and Penn & Teller were each standing there with bullets between their teeth. They called their experts back onto the stage and had them confirm that the bullets and casings both looked and smelled like they had just been fired, and that Penn had indeed caught Teller’s bullet between his teeth and vice versa. At no time did either Penn or Teller appear to cross or interact at all over the divide of the big yellow ribbon, making it appear that there is no way they could have swapped the bullets. It was quite impressive. imageWe’ve been wondering how it was done… it’s going to need some more thought, this one. ūüôā

Going Ticket Crazy Lately

It started innocuously enough.. my friend picked us up some tickets available through a early private pre-sale thing, to go see Jimmy Carr on the 22nd January at Brisbane City Hall. ¬†She got on the phones as soon as they were available and we scored tickets in the second or third row if memory serves – which is a sort of dubious position to be in given the amount of audience participation at Jimmy Carr shows, but time will tell. ¬†I am really looking forward to it – he’s like a one man game of Cards Against Humanity! ¬†ūüôā


Not long after that it was ‘hey, Opera Australia are doing Opera on the Beach next year’, so tickets were acquired for The Magic Flute next May… yah, Mozart under the stars with comfy chairs (somewhere in the red section), lots of wine, good company and gourmet hampers. ¬†Sounds like lots of fun. ūüôā


Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 4.05.31 PM

Then I saw that the new Cirque show, Amaluna was going to be in New York City! ¬†And waited desperately for several weeks for dates to be released to see if they would coincide with our planned travels for next year. ¬†Eventually dates for NY were released and squeals of delight were heard all over the house and tickets were promptly booked to go even though we hadn’t booked flights or anything else yet! ¬†‘Cos that’s just how I roll… book my Cirque tickets first and then plan the rest of my travel around that.

Amaluna Cirque du Soleil New Yorkamaluna in new york seating chart plan

What was after that? ¬†I think it was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. ¬†A couple of friends reported going and said that it was fabulous. ¬†I was already toying with the idea of taking the Small Child – just to get a bit more culture stuffed into him… a bit of musical theatre can’t hurt! – and their recommendation sold the plan. ¬†Managed to get us two tickets to a Friday afternoon matinee session on the 20th of December and I’m really looking forward to it. ¬†We’re in the front row of the first balcony, so let’s hope he hasn’t inherited his father’s fear of heights!
chitty chitty bang banglyric theatre seating plan chart

Then I went and booked some tickets to go see La Nouba in Orlando while we are in the States… because, well if I have to go do all the space stuff in Cape Canaveral and Orlando isn’t that far away, we might as well get another Cirque show in, right?

la nouba poster

Seating chart plan for La nouba cirque du soleil Orlando

Then just yesterday I decided I could take Mum and Great Gran to go see The King and I for Christmas (don’t worry – neither of them read this blog!), so I bought tickets for that which is… looking, looking… April 29th for next year! ¬†For the first time in years I bought tickets in the stalls – no opera which means no surtitles, no flying cars in the plot which means no potential aerobatics, and so in the stalls we are! ¬†About eighth or ninth row towards the centre. ¬†ūüôā


The King and I

lyric theatre brisbane seating plan stalls

So, what’s left? ¬†Well, I still need to book tickets for Ka in Las Vegas (Take Two!, hopefully we will get to see it this time). ¬†Tickets for Beatles Love in Las Vegas maybe, and potentially tickets for Varekai in Beaumont Texas… Keith is threatening me with tickets to ice hockey games *groan* but I am going to see what I can do to get out of that. ¬†Still, sooo many tickets! ¬†What’s a girl to do!


I’ve been busy booking more tickets – this time for Vegas. ¬†We have got tickets booked for Penn and Teller, because I really think this is something that Mr K will enjoy. ¬†Personally I have no idea, though I do find it kinda odd that their seating plan is arse about and the stage is at the top of the picture. ¬†ūüėÄ


penn and teller Seating-Chart

And… We also have tickets for Ka! ¬†Yep, second time is a charm, I am hoping. ¬†After missing out during my last trip to Las Vegas, I am really looking forward to going and seeing this. ¬†Fourth row, centre! Awesome.


ka-seating chartAnd because I am in Las Vegas, and it is the best show in town, I decided to go see ‘O’ again. ¬†Mr K wasn’t interested… I know! ¬†What is wrong with this man?!? ¬†So I am going on my ownsome and leaving him to gamble. ¬†Could be dangerous – the gambling that is.

O cirque du soleil vegas

la boheme

But wait! ¬†There’s more! ¬†While we are in New York and in a most fortuitous turn of events, it appears that one of my favourite operas is on – La Boh√©me at running at the Metropolitan Opera. ¬†The Met Opera House at the Lincoln Centre is HUGE, and tickets are beyond ridiculously expensive so we are going to be sitting in the Dress Circle where you can nab a seat for around $150-$200 each, and unfortunately for Mr K, this is the third balcony… which might be a tad interesting given his severe aversion to heights! ¬†ūüėÄ

No doubt¬†this means I am going to have to rethink my wardrobe choices for our trip. ¬†It’s going to be cold and for me that means casual because Brisbanites are not normally people who own lots of evening wear for cold weather! ¬†And, I’m not so sure the regular Met Opera patrons would appreciate a couple of random Australians rocking up in jeans and sneakers and hoodies!

metropolian opera new york


metropolitan opera seating chartUPDATE:

OMG… I knew this was going to cost me, only I thought it would just be money. ¬†Mr K is retaliating for all this culture and opera and theatre and stuff and it involves… (Oh the abject horror of it all!)… attending sporting events! ¬†I obviously didn’t think this through. ¬†O_o

canucks-logoFirst he’s booked tickets to go see the Washington Capitals play the Vancouver Canucks (which I think is ice-hockey, but I could be wrong) for March 16th at the Verizon Centre in Washington. ¬†From what I understand he’s got good seats¬†(Section 121, Row E, Seats 1&2)… something to do with being towards the centre and his team aiming for that end twice?!? ¬†I can smell the beer swilling, nacho munching puck-heads from here!

Verizon Washington Seating Chart

Toronto-Maple-LeafsHe’s still at it though! ¬†Apparently his favourite team, the Toronto Maple Leafs (I hate them already… don’t they know it should be Leaves not Leafs!) are playing against the New Jersey Devils while we are in New York. ¬†Now ordinarily, I’d say ‘Newark isn’t in New York, hon.’ and hope he’d drop it. ¬†But apparently the trains are really good so it’s not that long to get out there and oh well, I am dragging him to Flushing to see Amaluna, so we are going. ¬†Seats this time determined by ‘getting as close to the boards’ as possible.

Also, he says the Leafs (*twitch twitch*) are playing quite well at the moment, so there is a good chance they will win this game, but we can’t gloat about it if they do or we will never make it out of New Jersey alive! ¬†Fuck me dead! ¬†Maybe I better get myself a HockeyRoos jersey or something.

prudential centre new jersey seating_chartBoston_CelticsAwww, shit. ¬†Apparently there’s more… the Boston Celtics are playing the Chicago Bulls while we are in Boston. ¬†Now, I am pretty sure that is basketball and if it gets me out of a baseball games that goes for god knows how many hours, then I am in. ¬†ūüôā ¬†Celtics are sitting 8th in their division (at the moment, this of course could change) and the Bulls are just outside that… so fighting to get into the play offs. ¬†This one I can get behind – at least I know the damn rules! ¬†ūüôā ¬†Unfortunately though, with two such well known teams, tickets are at absolute sandy lube, arse rape prices (up to $620pp)… so it’s up in the nose bleed section of the bleachers for us.

TD gardens sating chart

According to the all knowing Interwebs, the view will be something like this, (but a little more central), so not as bad as I thought and will definitely fun to just be there. ¬†Seeing we will be sitting in an entire house of Celtics fans, I think I’ll root for the Chicago Bulls. ¬†ūüėõ


Fingers crossed, that is it for the Operation Opera Retaliation.  :/