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Judy Thorburn

World Premiere of Lance Burton's Billy Topit Master Magician

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judy-thorburn-editorWorld Premiere of Lance Burton's Billy Topit Master Magician

By Judy Thorburn

 

The World Premiere of Lance Burton's film Billy Topit Master Magician, that he produced, cowrote (with Michael Goudeau), directed and stars in, took place at Brenden Theatres in The Palms Resort Casino on Thursday evening, September 24. Prior to the 6 pm start of the film there was a red carpet featuring a long list of celebrities and fellow magicians who were there to show support for their acclaimed colleague and friend. Among the arrivals were Rich Little, Mike Hammer, Anthony Cools, Clint Holmes and Kelly Clinton,  last year's America's Got Talent winner Mat Franco, Cris Angel, the Amazing Johnathan, Jarrett & Raja, Fantasy cast members,  several hunks from Thunder From Down Under, Lydia Ansel,  SEXXY choreographer/dancer Jennifer Romas and other cast members, Johnny Thompson, the Great Tomasini, and member of the film's cast including Joelle Righetti, Michael Holly, Michael Goudeau, Russ Merlin, Tommie Laing, Fielding West, Rory Johnston and George Joseph.

Lance Burton Gabriella Versace Billy Topit 72832
Lance Burton and Gabriella Versace
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

All proceeds from tickets sales benefit three locals charities that are close to Burton's heart: Variety The Children’s Charity of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas Shriners and Nevada SPCA. “I hope to spread a little magic around the world with “Billy Topit Master Magician” and here at home,” Burton said.

“Billy Topit Master Magician” is not a biography of Lance Burton’s life but a fictional character in a fictional setting that is set in Lance’s adopted hometown of Las Vegas.   “The one thing Billy and I share in common is this, we both love magic and we both love Las Vegas. I guess that is two things actually” stated Lance.

The independent comedy took over five years from idea to theatrical release and has been Lance’s labor of love since retiring his stage show in 2010 at the Monte Carlo Resort. The inspiration for the movie goes back to Lance’s childhood when he watched the TV series “The Magician” starring Bill Bixby. “I loved that show,” stated Burton. “Through the years there have been many films and TV shows with magician characters and some were quite good. I just felt that I could bring something to the table that was genuine. Something based in reality. I didn’t want to do the stereotypical mysterious magician character. That’s why Billy Topit is a struggling magician, even though he is very skilled.”

BILLY TOPIT MASTER MAGICIAN is a comedy adventure that tells the story of a skilled Las Vegas magician who performs at children’s birthday parties but dreams of making it big. When he meets and falls for pretty server at a local casino cafe, they start to date and he convinces her to be his assistant. Things gets complicated when some greasy mobsters come after Billy looking for money they believe he owes them.  Thankfully, he is able to use his magic skills to avoid confrontation. But when things go out of control,  Billy has to call on his best friends, The Magician, the Ventriloquist, the Jugglers, and the Mime for help. They aren't the A-Team, or even the B-Team, but they’re all he's got.
 
The cast of Billy Topit features many of Lance’s friends, most of which are magicians, jugglers, comedians, as well as actors. Louie Anderson, Mac King, as well as, Criss Angel all make cameo appearances.

Criss Angel Billy Topit 72790
Criss Angel
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Fielding West Billy Topit 72782
Fielding West
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

George Joseph Billy Topit 72897
George Joseph
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Joelle Righetti and son Billy Topit 72798
Joelle Righetti and son
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Mac King Billy Topit 72966
Mac King
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Rory Johnston Billy Topit 72788
Michael Holly (center right)
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Russ Merlin Billy Topit 72975
Russ Merlin
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

The Great Tomsoni Johnny Thompson Pamela Hayes Billy Topit 72800
Johnny Thompson - The Great Tomsoni and his wife Pamela Hayes
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Anthony Cools Billy Topit 72913
Anthony Cools
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Clint Holmes Kelly Clinton Holmes Billy Topit 72902
Clint Holmes and Kelly Clinton Holmes
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Criss Angel Amazing Johnathan Billy Topit 72894
Criss Angel, Amazing Johnathan, and his wife Anastasia Synn
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Dave Johnson Billy Topit 72863
Dave Johnson
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

FANTASY Billy Topit 72820
FANTASY star Jamie Lynch (center) with dancers
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Jarrett and Raja Billy Topit 72925
Jarrett & Raja
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Jennifer Romas and Gabriella Versace and the cast of SEXXY Billy Topit 72876
SEXXY star Gabriella Versace (pink dress) and producer/director/star Jennifer Romas (black dress) with cast members
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Lydia Ansel Billy Topit 72871
Lydia Ansel
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Mat Franco Billy Topit 72786
Mat Franco
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Mike Hammer Billy Topit 72777
Mike Hammer
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Mondre Billy Topit 72963
Mondre
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Morea Reveen Paul Shortino Shayma Tash Billy Topit 72842
Morea Reveen, Paul Shortino, and Shayma Tash
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Murray Sawchuck Douglas Lefty Leferovich Billy Topit 72979
Murray Sawchuck and Douglas "Lefty" Leferovich
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Pia Zadora Billy Topit 72905
Michael Jeffires and Pia Zadora
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Rich Little Billy Topit 72813
Rich Little
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Robin Leach Lydia Ansel Billy Topit 72867
Robin Leach and Lydia Ansel
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Scott Land Billy Topit 72948
Chris Randall (right)
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Thunder From Down Under Billy Topit 72835
Thunder From Down Under
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Tommy Ward Billy Topit 72919
Tommy Ward
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

While there might be a nightmare scene in the movie Lance went on to say, “This is a family friendly movie that I hope will connect with people all over the world. It is a love letter to Las Vegas. When I am no longer around, I hope Billy Topit will still be inspiring people to visit our city. I am also honored to be able to donate all of the funds raised by the World Premiere and Limited Engagement run at Brenden Theaters to three charities close to my heart, Variety The Children’s Charity of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas Shriners and Nevada SPCA.  I hope to spread a little magic around the world with “Billy Topit Master Magician” and here at home.” 

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