Regardless of the antics in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Hollywood will have difficulty conjuring forth public mishaps to match those of Vegas’ celebrity magicians and wannabes….
Scarlett, Princess of Domestic Violence: She had charm, flaming red hair and looked smashing in a barely there, two-piece swimsuit. But “Scarlett, Princess of Magic” — aka Rachel Jessee — had a temper to match her fiery locks. On Nov. 27, 2009, Henderson police answered a domestic-disturbance call and found that Jessee, then 21, had clobbered 67-year-old lover and manager John Lewis … and not for the first time. Jessee pleaded “no contest” to misdemeanor battery and did the best vanishing act of her career.
Pick a credit card, any card: One of Vegas’ enduring mysteries is how bounced-around Steve Wyrick continues to get work after a string of high-profile flops. (After all, who remembers one-shot blunders like Hans Klok or Ed Alonzo?) Wyrick parlayed audacity and a maudlin stage show into the three-story — “ultralounge” included — $35 million “Wyrick Entertainment Complex” in Miracle Mile. Within two years it went “temporarily dark” for good. Wyrick’s best trick proved to be making $54,355,000 vanish, leaving him with $93,000 in assets (including a Porsche Carrera) and an allowance from his mom. A late-2011 gig at the pathetically desperate Las Vegas Hotel & Casino also proved short-lived, but Wyrick will surely resurface. Hooters, anyone?
Lights, Camera, Poof! Back in ’96, Siegfried & Roy™ had the notion of making a 3-D IMAX movie, The Magic Box. What they didn’t consider was that then-patron Steve Wynn owned no IMAX screens upon which to show it. So this cinematic curio, which one review called “a desperate cry for help,” didn’t play Vegas until once on Oct. 2, 2011 … by which time its primitive special effects looked as long in the tooth as did Siegfried & Roy™ themselves, its 3-D tropes — think low-angle, thrusting shots of Roy’s codpiece — and gynophobia placing it in the deepest recesses of High Camp. No Vegas theatrical presentation ensued, proving that Siegfried & Roy™ did not have another trick up their puffed sleeves.