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Sep 7, 2010 9:51 PM by Alison Haynes

Monte Carlo replaces Lance Burton with dance crew

LAS VEGAS (AP) - The Monte Carlo casino-resort has replaced
longtime Las Vegas Strip headline magician Lance Burton with a
hip-hop dance crew that shot to fame through a reality television
competition, hotel officials announced Tuesday.
Burton ended a 14-year run at the Monte Carlo on Saturday. He
and the Monte Carlo announced their split in April, less than a
year after he signed a six-year contract extension.
Jabbawockeez, the first-season winner of MTV's "America's Best
Dance Crew" competition that known for performing in white masks
and gloves, will replace Burton in October.
The seven-member group, whose name is an homage to a similarly
named Lewis Carroll poem in "Through the Looking Glass," found
success as a standalone act earlier this year during a run at the
MGM Grand resort. The group has also made numerous other television
appearances.
Kevin Brewer, a 33-year-old crew member lauded by judges and
fans on the MTV show for his crotch-grabbing solo during a routine
to Michael Jackson's "P.Y.T.," said the crew started to believe
headlining in Las Vegas was a possibility during its first Las
Vegas Strip performances.
"After our first run in May and the response that we got, I
think that kind of put a little weight underneath our wings,"
Brewer said Tuesday.
Hotel officials also cited the Jabbawockeez' sold-out MGM Grand
run in its announcement, saying the group was "back by popular
demand."
The 90-minute show titled "Mus.i.c" (pronounced "muse I
see") starts Oct. 7, with tickets on sale for shows five nights
per week through December.
Terms of the deal between the dancers and Monte Carlo owner MGM
Resorts International weren't immediately made public.
Anton Nikodemus, chief operating officer of the Monte Carlo,
said they're planning to keep the Jabbawockeez well beyond
December.
"We are planning an extended run for the guys at Monte Carlo.
We anticipate they will be with us for a minimum of six months,"
Nikodemus said. "They have cultivated a worldwide following, and
we look forward to introducing Monte Carlo to a new audience."
Brewer said the crew was mentally prepared to stay five or six
months, but hopeful it will last longer.
"I'm hoping that it's like that whole Lance Burton (run), like
14 years," he said.
Burton, 50, has not announced his next plans beyond a vacation.
He had performed at the Monte Carlo since the day it opened in
1996. Neither he, nor hotel officials, have given a specific reason
for parting ways, but Burton in an April interview compared the
split to a divorce for "irreconcilable differences."
"That's kind of what we have here. I think we've just grown
apart, we have different philosophies, and we're going in different
directions," he told the AP, declining to elaborate.
Burton began performing in Las Vegas 28 years ago with an
eight-week run at "Les Folies Bergere," the topless revue at the
Tropicana hotel-casino that closed last year after 49 years.
Burton's initial performances turned into a nine-year run at that
hotel.
Before that, Burton was the youngest magician to win the Gold
Award for Excellence from the International Brotherhood of
Magicians, which is the world's largest organization for magicians.

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