To be fair, I have never been an avid fan of magic shows and magicians. The way I see it, you've seen one, you've seen most. One of the house shows at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas is Dirk Arthur Xtreme Magic. The ticket price is reasonable and, more importantly, there are many ways to get deep discounts and free tickets for this Las Vegas magic show. The show I attended thanks to a ticket I earned with the Tropicana rewards card (always get the rewards card) was half-full or half-empty, depending on how you see things. This was the case for most of the afternoon house shows I caught during my stay.
Dirk Arthur Xtreme Magic is basically a series of now you see it in the box now you do not see it in the box, now you see a big cat in the box magic show. Magician Dirk Arthur himself does not say much, perhaps because he has long given up trying to be overheard over the very loud and very annoying music constantly playing.
About a quarter into this hour or so show, Arthur stops to show the audience a Discovery Channel style video on him and his big cats and how he trains and takes care of them. Aside from pandering to the PETA people -who do not go to shows featuring animals in the first place- this only serves to break the rhythm of the show and fill some time.
Perhaps the reason I was unimpressed by Dirk Arthur Xtreme Magic at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, aside from some personal bias, is the fact a majority of this show is stuff in a box tricks. The box changes shape but a box is a box and after a while seeing things go in the box, vanish, and being replaced by a big cat or something else is a bit monotonous.
One of the more original tricks here is when magician Dirk Arthur does the lady in the box getting sliced in half bit. He has two ladies, one with a hot pink outfit and one with a hot blue outfit in two different boxes and reattaches the legs of the first lady on the second lady and vice versa so they come out wearing a pink top and blue bottom and blue top and pink bottom. This is a neat twist on an old saw.
Another interesting part of Xtreme Magic by Dirk Arthur is when the magician does a "how it's done" bit. He turns his back to the audience to give it a behind the scenes view while he plays to a mirrored wall that reflects the theatre. Again, this is a stuff in the box trick and Arthur manages to fool the audience by showing how it's done but tossing in a surprise in the reveal.
Magician Dirk Arthur does engage the audience by inviting a kid on stage. Unfortunately, all he does his slip his hands under the kid's armpits and do tricks with metal rings and stuff right under the kid's nose. He also gets an adult member of the audience up for another trick involving an oversized playing card, a sheet of newspaper, and a pair of chattering teeth.
Two of the more impressive moments in Xtreme Magic by magician Dirk Arthur involve a helicopter and an obviously fake Amtrak engine. The closer, involving a big cat in a box, is very good but, again, another stuff in a box trick
Dirk Arthur Xtreme Magic is a good Las Vegas house show. Real magic fans will enjoy it more and less cynical fans will have a good time.