Ghoulish comic magicians Penn and Teller, who haven’t played in New York City for years, returned to Manhattan for eight performances, June 6-11, at the Beacon Theatre. The comedic duo have toured numerous cities -- including Los Angeles and Las Vegas -- but nothing came of the 1997 rumors that their latest act would be Broadway bound.
Instead, the comedic duo have gone further uptown, serving up hearty portions of their own special brand of offbeat practical jokes and onstage "miracles." “All new stuff for New York City,” was promised by publicist Ken “Krasher” Lewis. That includes bunny rabbits in shredders (the New York Times ad for the show warns “lock up your bunnies”), juggling broken liquor bottles, and having an audience volunteer throw knives at Penn Jillette. Penn, the more voluble of the pair, also does a "non-escape" from a straightjacket in "Cheat the Hangman" and narrates a macabre bit involving a bladder-balloon filled (metaphorically, one hopes) with blood.
The pair, who have performed three major NY engagements both on and Off-Broadway (including Penn & Teller: The Refrigerator Tour and Penn & Teller Rot in Hell), play evil magicians "Paine" and "Terrore" on the Steven Spielberg CD-ROM "Director's Chair." In addition, they have won an Emmy for the PBS special, "Penn & Teller Go Public," and host a weekly cable television series.
For tickets and information on Penn & Teller at the Beacon Theatre call (212) 307-7171.
-- By David Lefkowitz