Curtain Up: Lefty’s Magician of the Year award, Rod Stewart, Van Morrison and more Vegas showbiz news

Denise Truscello

Rod Stewart just added new fall dates at the Colosseum.

Back before he become “Lefty,” a nickname and character identifying a talented and experienced performer, director and designer, Douglas Leferovich was very much into magic and especially into the Society of American Magicians Parent Assembly #1 of New York City. It’s the oldest and largest magic club in the country, established in 1902 and the producers of a legendary annual Salute to Magic show since 1909.

Leferovich has been a member for 31 years, but back when he was too young to join, his parents would take him to the show and he and his brother would explore the Roosevelt Hotel while the magicians had their mysterious meetings.

Click to enlarge photo

Douglas “Lefty” Leferovich

“Back then, before the internet, there were three ways to learn magic — from a book, from a magic shop, or an older, wiser magician could pass on his knowledge,” says Leferovich. “A lot of my early magic I learned from these older members who would take the time after the show to teach us new tricks and really help us. Now it’s so easy to type something into the internet and get the explanation. Back then it was more of a guarded secret.”

This year’s Salute to Magic is set for Tuesday, June 22, and it will be the first time in 112 years the show won’t be held in New York City. It’ll be virtual, conducted live from Show Creators Studios on Sunset Road here in Las Vegas. Leferovich will be performing and hosting, but also honored as the 2021 Magician of the Year.

Leferovich has been living and working in Las Vegas for nearly two decades. For the last seven months he’s resumed his role as “Lefty” in Murray Sawchuck’s “Murray the Magician” show at the Laugh Factory at the Tropicana, and for the last six months his own “Late Night Magic” has been running for three nights a week at the Alexis Park Resort.

“I feel very fortunate to be working because I still have so many friends who have not been able to get back to work, onstage or behind the stage,” he says. “I also think there has been a nice opportunity in the last six months or so for people to focus on and see the smaller shows in town. Sometimes people get blinded by the big names and there was a while when there were only 12 shows in town, and it was nice for them to get a shine.”

The 112th annual Salute to Magic show will be livestreamed for free at 5 p.m. June 22 at and it will include performances by Lefty, Sawchuck, and “Late Night Magic” artists Bizzaro, John Shaw, Mondre and AnnaRose. It will also a include a welcome from Wayne Newton, a presentation of the Magician of the Year award from the society’s vice president Sterling Lee, and video messages of congratulations from Jonathan and Drew Scott, Alice Cooper, Rick Harrison, Frank Marino, Neil Sedaka, Carrot Top and many magician friends such as Tommy Wind, Jen Kramer, Santiago Michel, David Goldrake and Steve Wyrick. Couldn’t happen to a nicer magician.

As reported this week in Las Vegas Weekly, the iHeartRadio Music Festival has announced the lineup for its two days of concert programming at T-Mobile Arena on September 17 and 18 as well as the daytime stage at Area15 on September 18. The all-star roster at T-Mobile includes Billie Eilish, Cheap Trick, Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Florida Georgia Line, Journey, Khalid, Lil Baby, Maroon 5, Nelly, Weezer and more, while Olivia Rodrigo, Saweetie, All Time Low, Russell Dickerson, Yungblud, Addison Rae and others will perform from Area15. The event will be held the same weekend as downtown’s Life Is Beautiful fest, which will also feature Eilish as a headliner.

Speaking of LIB, a handful of up-and-coming new artists were announced this week for the music festival’s celebrated return this fall — Willow Smith, Alaina Castillo, Keys N Krates, Chiiild, Hook N Sling, Jacques Greene, Tom the Mail Man, Kornel Kovacs, Sa-Roc and Papichuloteej.

This week’s new show announcements include: Colosseum at Caesars Palace resident headliner Rod Stewart returning to duty for nine shows this fall beginning on October 6; OneRepublic is set for a special two-night engagement at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood on September 4-5; comedian Anthony Rodia is performing at the Sands Showroom at the Venetian on November 27; and Van Morrison is returning to the Colosseum on February 18-20, 2022.

More Vegas entertainers announced additional dates for their upcoming gigs this week. Lionel Richie will get started earlier at Wynn’s Encore Theater with shows on September 10-11, while Bruno Mars will add to his six sold-out shows at Park Theater with new dates on July 30-31 and August 13-14.

RuPaul’s Drag Race Live” confirmed its previously reported reopening date at the Flamingo Showroom this week. The high-energy, TV-inspired drag spectacular will be back on the Strip on August 5, performing Thursday through Monday at 9:30 p.m. Tickets start at $49 and are on sale now at Ticketmaster. Launched in January 2020, the show will anchor live entertainment options at the Flamingo, which currently has “Piff the Magic Dragon” also running in that room and “X Burlesque” in the smaller cabaret space.

The Jabbawockeez will wrap up their pandemic-era run at MGM Grand Garden Arena with a special edition of their “Timeless” show now through June 30, performing at 7 and 9:30 p.m. nightly except Tuesdays. All seating capacity restrictions have been lifted and the show is bringing back audience interactions as well as a pre-show DJ set by the Bangerz. As previously reported right here in Curtain Up, Jabbawockeez will return to their regular home at MGM Grand at the Jabbawockeez Theater on July 8.