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The “Gone Fishing” sign that headliner magician Lance Burton hung when he ended his residency at Monte Carlo has turned out to be another one of his extraordinary illusions. Lance has spent his “retirement” working on a new movie, “Billy TopIt -- Master Magician,” and as post-production editing begins, only 10 pages of the script remain to be filmed.
One final scene next month will involve “Mindfreak” and “Believe” star Criss Angel. Lance confirmed to me that he wrote the script with juggler pal Michael Goudeau, who used to open for him at Monte Carlo, and both have roles in the film.
“It’s been two years from writing it to getting to the start of pre-production,” said Lance, who funded the film. “It’s the story of a birthday party magician who, of course, dreams of finding stardom on the Strip but runs afoul of the Mob while wooing the girl of his dreams. All of his real friends are kids party entertainers, and a lot of Strip stars like Louie Anderson and Nathan Burton make cameo appearances.”
When the film production, editing and music score are completed this year, Lance then plans a red-carpet Las Vegas screening, and the sales campaign for a Hollywood studio pickup begins in earnest.
TELLER’S ‘EXORCIST’ PLAY
Las Vegas magicians Teller (from Rio headliners Penn & Teller) and Johnny Thompson (The Great Thomsoni) are teaming up to assist with the magic and special effects for the new stage production of “The Exorcist.” It’s West Coast run begins July 11 in L.A. before an expected Broadway engagement this year.
Teller, who directed the haunting “Macbeth” two years ago, and Johnny will doubtless have to magically re-create the gravity-defying levitation and head-spinning and vomit throwing of the possessed child. I am told that the West Coast run will feature Brooke Shields as the mother and Richard Chamberlain as the exorcist priest.
‘TRAILER PARK WIVES’
TV producer Marklen Kennedy has completed the sizzle reel of his new reality TV series “Trailer Park Wives,” with six couples filmed in a Las Vegas trailer park, and is about to start pitching it to TV networks. “There’s a lot of odd behavior, but deep down it’s a real-life story of people trying to better themselves during this recession. It is not a trailer trash expose,” says Marklen, who also tells me that he has two weeks remaining shooting Season 3 of his Las Vegas-based Showtime hit “Gigolos” and then awaits word on a Season 4.
And an unflinching, behind-the-ropes docu-series featuring the return of “WOW: Women of Wrestling” is gearing up for production with Las Vegas producer Rand Capp partnered with Los Angeles Lakers executive Jeanie Buss. They are hoping to have a local property host events of the rough-and-tumble world of wrestling, and casting of the female wrestlers takes place here shortly.
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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