Luxe Life Blog
Exclusive photos: Final dress rehearsals for Triumph at L.V. Hilton
Updated at 11:30 a.m.: The stars and producers of the time-travel spectacular Triumph have postponed tonight's planned opening for 48 hours. LaRaf manager Candi Cazau explained: "The delay until Wednesday is solely for technical reasons, and we wish to have the audience enjoy a smooth experience as they take part in the interactive portions. We have all the clearances and official approvals in place for the dramatic flying sequences above the audience. We're just resolving the final audience involvement."
Here's the original story posted at 10:14 a.m.:
The magicians are ready to perform their amazing magic. The dancers are ready to dazzle with their energetic and electric choreography. The Steampunk costumes are ready for the cast. But now comes the biggest conundrum of them all.
When Triumph opens at the Las Vegas Hilton tonight, it will be a unique “work-in-progress preview” for the next couple of weeks because nobody knows if the audience is ready. The director and producers can rehearse the stars, cast and crew, but the audience is a totally unknown factor.
Triumph is a time-travel show that is interactive in involving the audience. It’s never been attempted before and thusly why there will be an announced disclaimer that for a few days, these will be work-in-progress previews. It’s all a total surprise right up until the show is underway.
The outcome is far more mysterious than magical. Will the audience go onstage to travel back to the Chicago World’s Fair as part of the story line and ride on a Ferris wheel that disappears? Will the audience travel through a time portal to the ancient Mayan tribal rituals? The director knows he may very well have to stop the show when he sees the first-time reactions and movements with an audience -- and guide them into the magic of time travel.
Magicians Larry Fischer and Rafael Palacios know they’ll be battling the challenges, but they’re not worried about each other’s reaction because they’ve worked so closely together the past 25 years that they know what each other is thinking.
Larry said: “We’ll be ready for the unexpected, the unplanned and the unrehearsed audience, but it’s certainly combining extraordinary illusions and past and present science fiction in an unscripted fashion with a live audience. Nobody will ever know what to expect from audience to audience, and we may well have to make some changes, iron out some upsets to handle that by the time we officially open mid-January. Nobody will ever be able to rehearse an audience in advance, and that’s what makes this doubly exciting and doubly challenging.”
Contributing photographer Tom Donoghue was invited to the last dress rehearsals over the weekend and captured this extraordinary photo gallery exclusively for Vegas DeLuxe. I received permission to watch the opening number, which sets the time-travel experience for the roller coaster ride through the worlds of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, and it is stunning, high-voltage, fast-paced action.
Highway Radio entertainment director Bart Torres and longtime Las Vegas casino showroom PR executive Candi Cazau teamed up to manage the magicians and bring them here. “This is something totally different from anything you’ve ever thought about previous magic shows with illusions in Las Vegas,” they told me. “The speed at which some of these illusions take place right in front of the faces of the audience totally surrounding them is beyond extraordinary. It’s sheer entertainment with a magical story in a mystical journey.”
LaRaf will be compared to two other European magicians who became Las Vegas superstars -- Siegfried & Roy -- who were coincidentally the inspiration for their start in magic. Rafael was a member of the first high-flying trapeze act at Circus Circus, and he brought Larry to see the original Siegfried & Roy show. As performers, they all met backstage, where the Magicians of the Century encouraged Larry and Rafael to go for their dreams. Now after touring the globe, they are making it all come true in the Entertainment Capital of the World.
Until the audience walks into the former Elvis Presley showroom, nobody will know what to expect from their participation in the time-travel magical journey. That’s got to be the ultimate added danger to the incredible illusions. In all, there are 30 illusions, flying effects over the audience and special multimedia effects -- and an audience who could do anything!
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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