Madness Meets Magic with Penn & Teller at Boston’s Shubert Theatre

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Posted January 14, 2014 by Cheryl Fenton in Downtown Boston
Penn & Teller

Our theater scene hasn’t seen the funny side of magic in over 10 years. But it’s finally back. Local boys Penn & Teller bring their irreverent brand of magic to Boston. They take a little comedy, blend in some storytelling and politics, and then consider your state of belief blown. That’s how they’ve been doing it for almost 40 years. Any given night can involve knives, guns, a fire-eating showgirl, a duck, or a fish. Or all of the above.

This no-frills act strips down the dog-and-pony show of some magicians (read: no smoke or lighting technicians need apply) and keeps it simple with a lack of flash. It’s just Penn, Teller, and their amazing skills of slight and illusion. They leave their permanent home in Las Vegas at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino for three performances at the Citi Center’s Shubert Theatre on Friday, January 24, and Saturday, January 25.

“When I was growing up in Greenfield, Mass., and Teller was attending Amherst, Boston seemed like a million miles away. Now that we live in Vegas, Boston is like coming home. Outside of Vegas, we do some of our best shows in Boston and we can’t wait to come back home. It’s been wicked too long,” says Penn Jillette.

Penn & Teller

This is the comedy duo’s first Boston show in 10 years. Photo courtesy of Rio Las Vegas.

Of course they need a little help from their friends. During the show, you could be the one to write your initials onto a bullet before it’s fired from a Colt .357 into Penn’s mouth. It’s this “anything goes” method to their magic madness that earns them the title of “Bad Boys of Magic.”

With sold-out runs on Broadway, world tours, and appearances on everything from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to The Simpsons, this duo shows no signs of slowing (or calming) down. Their Emmy-nominated Showtime series “Penn & Teller: BS!” is the network’s longest running series, and their newest television venture “Penn & Teller Tell A Lie” for the Discovery Channel premiered last October. And we’ve all seen Penn recently showing his business savvy on NBC’s “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice.”

Stick around after the show. Penn and Teller usually hang out to meet and greet, posing for photos and signing autographs. But don’t ask the “how did you” question — they’ll never Teller.

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