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The magic of Vegas

Penn Jillette's favorite magicians


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(CNN) -- There are two kinds of magic to see in Las Vegas.

There are the glitzy, slick flash-powder-and-bright-lights illusionists such as Siegfried & Roy who dominate the Strip -- and then there are the real magicians, the close-up guys and low-fi tricksters who can cause you to say "How did they do that?" while standing a foot away.

Besides his own act, Penn Jillette suggests magic aficionados check out these magicians:

• Michael Close, Tuesday-Thursday, 8 p.m.-1 a.m. at Houdini's Lounge at the Monte Carlo. The talented close-up magician will come right over to patrons' tables to show his stuff. "There's 45 minutes of piano then 45 minutes of close-up magic," says Penn.

• Mac King, Tuesdays-Saturdays, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. at Harrah's Hotel and Casino. "The best act in the world today," exclaims Penn of this comic magician known for his deadpan, aw-shucks demeanor, swallowing earthworms, and making his own head disappear.

Put them together with the other acts to be found in Vegas, says Penn, and "you've got the best magic town in history."

-- Todd Leopold


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