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Here are three shows to check out this weekend in Reno, from comedy to magic and cabaret.
Few comedians have undergone career paths quite like Dennis Miller. Gaining fame as a cast member of “Saturday Night Live” and hosting its news-show parody, Miller later established a side career as a guest and host on the types of news shows he was making light of back in the day. He still does live shows, though, including one on Feb. 10 at Silver Legacy.
He made his first national TV appearances on “Star Search” and “Light Night with David Letterman.” It was a performance in 1985 at the famed Comedy Store club in L.A. that Miller was seen by “Saturday Night Live” founder Lorne Michaels. He hosted “Weekend Update” and acted in other skits on “SNL” between 1985 and 1991. His first HBO special, “Mr. Miller Goes to Washington,” was shown in 1988.
His work after “SNL” included his first talk show, shown in syndication in 1992. After some time returning to the concert stage, Miller started “Dennis Miller Live” on HBO in 1994. It lasted for nine years, winning five Emmy Awards in the process.
With more road work as part of his early work in the ‘00s, Miller eventually landed at CNBC, where he hosted his own show on the network. From 2007-15, Miller hosted his own syndicated radio talk show, which again mixed comedy with politics.
Dennis Miller plays at 8 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Silver Legacy's Grande Exposition Hall. Tickets cost $49.50 and $59.50 at 775-329-4777 or here.
Reno magic star Eli Kerr, who has spent nearly three decades traveling the world with his magic act, is making a rare hometown run at Harrah’s Sammy’s Showroom with “The Magic of Eli Kerr” through Feb. 24.
”The Magic of Eli Kerr” has as little bit of everything: outsized illusions, close-up magic, comedy and fire eating, which he taught himself 20 years ago. Kerr is a student of magic; He’s always learning, refining, re-tooling and researching how his act is perceived. The first big illusion he built was one made famous by Houdini, “Metamorphosis,” or the “substitution trunk” trick.
Along with his immersion in all aspects of his act, another unique side to Kerr is his penchant for going where the show leads him. He has a script, of course, but he’s not simply repeating the same act every night. He also meets fans after the show, takes selfies, answers questions and signs autographs. It’s a tradition he lifted from his magic hero, David Copperfield, whom he’d seen as a youngster doing the same after his shows.
“I remember the impact that had on me, watching him and meeting him,” Kerr said. “It was just huge. So, I don’t see myself doing it any other way. I really like to talk to people, and it’s nice to get a sense of what they really thought of the show. They’re just very genuine when they come out. I meet some very interesting and fun people. It’s just as important as the show.”
"The Magic of Eli Kerr" is showing at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through Feb. 24 at Sammy’s Showroom at Harrah's Reno. Tickets cost $29-$38 here, by calling 775-786-3232 or at the casino box office.
“Essence” is a high-energy, sexy, 21-and-older variety show, which is running at 10 p.m. Saturdays at Sammy’s Showroom at Harrah's.
“Essence” features a relatively small troupe of six performers. It’s a close-knit unit including a comedic host, dancers, aerialists and singers. On its face, the show looks like a burlesque, which brings to mind a teasing, bawdy revue with scantily-clad mostly female dancers in feather-laden headdresses.
There will be a Valentine’s Day show on Feb. 14.
Tickets cost $30-31 at the box office or here. Online buyers can enter the code VIP20 to receive a 20-percent discount.