Mat Franco's two-year run in Las Vegas has been magical
In only two years, Mat Franco has built Magic Reinvented Nightly into one of the most sought-after tickets on the Strip. An intimate, personal production that brings the audience up close (and onstage) for Franco’s effortless illusions, the show is not your average effects-heavy magic spectacular. But it routinely leaves viewers smiling and amazed.
It would seem the high point of the America’s Got Talent winner’s dream-come-true Las Vegas gig happened this past summer, when The Linq stamped his name on the 600-seat theater that serves as the friendly resort’s entertainment hub. That was a big deal for Franco, but since he’s constantly reshaping the show to keep his adoring audience happily surprised, it’s a lock that there are many more high points on the way.
“I’m always adapting, even from night to night. There’s even variance from the 7 to the 9:30 show,” says Franco, the 29-year-old Rhode Island native who’s been practicing and performing since kindergarten. “No two audiences are the same, so even in the same night, each show has its own personality. There is so much audience interaction involved.”
Indeed, the awe-inspiring tricks that get the biggest reactions are constructed around Franco’s happy army of temporary, willing assistants. He’s been known to magically transport playing cards from one audience member’s pockets to another’s, or teleport their phones across the room and inside a piece of furniture. Another favorite has Franco drawing everyone’s eyes to his fast-moving hands during a classic coin-in-the-cup routine, then blowing everyone’s minds by appearing in the back of the theater before you knew he was missing from the stage.
Magic Reinvented Nightly is the best possible name for Franco’s show, as he’s constantly and skillfully building layers around his act, welcoming everyone in as he did on AGT, then carefully crafting fresh, new, unexpected moments.
“I’ve always loved the effects where it looks like you’re making a mistake. We call it ‘magician in trouble,’” he says. “As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to layer it in certain ways so there might be a surprise kicker ending on it, showing one thing and taking it down a different path. But you have to be careful because each step has to outdo the previous one. There’s a recipe to it.”
Just when Franco has mastered that magical recipe, he decides to rewrite it, throwing in different ingredients and flavors in order to create something undeniably his own. “It’s about building to a climax that feels strong enough so you feel like the trick is done, and wow, that’s great, and then taking it one step further. That extra push is what makes it unforgettable for people.”
It only takes one visit to Franco’s show to understand what he’s talking about, and why in just two years he already has a magical production that brings its audience back to see the show and be amazed again and again.
The Linq Hotel, 7 & 9:30 p.m. Fri.-Tues. (dark Oct. 13-14), 7 & 9:30 p.m. shows Oct. 11-12, 7 p.m. show only Oct. 8, $42-$109.90 VIP plus tax and fee. 702.777.2782