Smooth Magic and lots of fun at ‘Wonderground.’

It has been quite a while since I last managed to sneak in a visit to Jeff McBride’s ‘Wonderground’ event, here in Las Vegas. Like fine wine and stinky cheese it just keeps getting better. The evening is much more mainstream in many ways than it was when it began but hasn’t lost any of the slight hints of the occult that always gave it an edge.

The restaurant that houses the event is now nicely divided into a stage and a close-up performance area and the once slightly manic course of events has become as smoothly integrated as an evening at the Magic Castle. However the joy of watching both Jeff McBride and Eugene Burger performing in the same night at the Castle is rather more remote.

There are plenty of up and coming performers to complete the entertainment fare, most of whom have the strong ‘Mystery School’ touch to their presentations. No shortage of old fashioned Beatnik poetry, dance and music to fill the evening up with BoHo enjoyment.

Watching Eugene Burger perform is always a joy and his (for my taste!) rather too short performance was a highlight. Keeping things moving at a fast clip is a large part of the success of the evening’ and even the central figure and natural centre of attention, McBride, was not close to being over employed in the line-up. Jeff also acts as the perfect host as he bops around the building meeting/greeting and welcoming all these guests into his new living room! With his larger than life top hats, Jeff, is a Willy Wonka figure–inviting everyone to explore his Magic/Candy factory.

You don’t even need a golden ticket to get into McBrides Fun Factory; ten bucks will do the trick. For the price of a movie ticket you can be part of the action. Whether catching up on gossip with Johnny Thompson or catching the show, it is a steal at that price. If you are in or around Vegas on the 3rd Thursday of any month you would be crazy to miss out on the fun.

For full details about the event check out Jeff’s website The venue is called the ‘Olive’ and it is a fully fledged Mediterranean restaurant with inexpensive drinks, good food and an impressive collection of Hookah pipes and exotic tobacco. You may even find yourself coming back to visit the ‘Olive’ on a non-‘Wonderground’ night.

~ by Nick Lewin on August 19, 2011.

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