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While in Las Vegas for last week's Ticket Summit® conference and trade show, I made it a point to attend Penn & Teller's show at the Rio. Though I had visited Vegas once a year for the previous three years, I hadn't yet gotten a chance to see it. So this year I actually got a ticket and went as soon as I arrived in the city.

I knew going into it that Penn & Teller isn't quite like other magic shows. Their shtick is that of the skeptic, and it's a role they fill well because not only do they have the chops to actually perform the tricks. With such confidence, they can afford to give away a few secrets, and it helps them stand out from the other magicians on the Strip.


Things to do at the 2011 U.S. Open Tennis Tournament

US Open Tennis

From August 29 through September 11, the world's best tennis players will converge at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY, for the 2011 U.S. Open Tennis Tournament. The event is without question the most anticipated tennis event on U.S. soil, with thousands of fans attending it every year. If you are planning on getting U.S. Open tickets this year, here are some of the great things you have to look forward to.

Inside the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

Tennis Hall of Fame Gallery

Each year, the International Hall of Fame & Museum creates a special exhibit for all the visitors to the U.S. Open, and the 2011 exhibit is titled "Serving Their Countries: Tennis and War." The official U.S. Open website describes the exhibit like this: "War has always been an integral part of civilization. From the earliest days, war between nations has greatly impacted how we live as a society. For more than a century, sports and war have intersected on and off the playing field. Baseball, football, golf and basketball have, at some point, been intertwined with the war effort. Tennis is no exception."


The Hall of Fame gallery is great for tennis fans who like to look, but the SmashZone is perfect for those of us that like to do. SmashZone is an interactive exhibit for fans to test their tennis skills. People can record their own version of a previous U.S. Open championship point or test the speed of their serve. If you have kids, this will be the highlight of the event.

Me with two Matsuri performers

Two weeks ago I traveled to Las Vegas for Ticket Summit®. I decided to arrive early in order to see the sights and catch a show. When I went to decide on a show a few weeks ago, I knew I didn't want to pay a lot of money. I also knew I wanted to see something good, and something off the beaten path created by shows like Cirque. At first it seemed like an impossible combination, if only because of the huge number of shows to choose from.

Enter Matsuri. I was initially attracted by its name and its description, but the reviews seemed pretty good, too. Still, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I decided to go, anyway.

Margaritaville in Las Vegas

I arrived in Vegas on Sunday evening and went to get my ticket. Good thing, too, as Imperial's entrance is kind of hidden, even though the hotel is on the Strip. After getting my ticket, I headed over to Margaritaville for a meal, and then headed to bed.

On Monday afternoon, I arrived at the theater, only to find that my seat was stage side. Oh boy! were my first thoughts. Was I going to kill my neck craning it to see all the acrobatics? Was I going to need a masseuse afterward?