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Behind the Scenes With Vegas Magician Dirk Arthur

Last updated: November 4, 2010 at 1:10 pm. Posted by in Las Vegas Casinos, Las Vegas Shows, O'Sheas, Things to Do in Las Vegas. Comments Off on Behind the Scenes With Vegas Magician Dirk Arthur.

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Recently, we were lucky enough to visit Las Vegas magician Dirk Arthur for a first-hand encounter with his prized co-stars, a collection of rare, exotic cats. Arthur and friends are currently performing at O’Sheas on the Strip.

white tiger Vegas

Dirk Arthur and Saber get some poolside exercise.

His pampered felines include a leopard, panther, white Bengal tigers and even a “liger,” a mix between a male lion and a female tiger.

Liger factoid: Dirk Arthur said the dad goes first (the “li”) and the mother second, (the “ger”) when they’re naming mixed breeds. Who knew?

We were delighted (translation: borderline horrified) that Dirk Arthur let us video a romp with one of his white tigers, Saber. Come to find out, our apprehension was unwarranted, given that Saber is mostly a big ball of tiger love. Take a look at our exclusive video.


At last, we have an answer to the timeless question: “Who would win in a fight between a white tiger and a killer whale?”

Saber has been with Dirk Arthur since he was a cub. (Also called a “whelp,” but typically only by Las Vegas blogs with a thesaurus.)

In the early part of the video, you can see Saber jumping up on Dirk Arthur, which gave us pause, especially given that we were 10 feet away from Saber’s gaping maw ourselves. But we were informed this “hugging” behavior is actually part of Dirk Arthur’s show. The cats sometimes do it at home because they think they might get a treat. Phew.

We got a glimpse of another white tiger, Bosco, taking advantage of Vegas’ recent stretch of incredible fall weather. Ferocious? Uh, somebody forgot to tell Bosco.

Las Vegas white tigers

It's good to be a star on the Las Vegas Strip, says Bosco.

As we neared Bosco’s immaculate enclosure (Arthur cares for all his cats himself, we were impressed), the tiger made a kind of growling noise we were quite sure signaled our imminent death or dismemberment. Wrong again. Apparently, the noise is called “chuffing,” which in tiger lingo translates as something akin to, “What up, dude?” We prefer a happy greeting over a mauling any day!

Dirk Arthur has one of the few shows on the Las Vegas Strip that features big cats, and it’s a thrill to get up-close and personal with these majestic animals. One of the most striking things about the theater at O’Sheas is that absolutely everyone in the audience is up-close, too. In fact, some audience members are within 10 feet of the cats, and no one is more than 40 feet away. Palms sweating yet?

white tigers Las Vegas

Yum, fresh blogger meat!

The “intimate” space at O’Sheas makes for some interesting challenges given the scale of some of Dirk Arthur’s props. He said, “I can only get to my dressing room before and after the show. Otherwise, the doorway is just packed with giant illusions.”

One of the biggest benefits of a theater as compact as the one at O’Sheas? Arthur says, “I don’t have to be as concerned with the grandeur. I actually get to be more of myself.”

Dirk Arthur’s show is family-friendly, and with a ticket price of $22.95 ($33.95 for VIP seating), this has got to be one of the best show values in Las Vegas. “Dirk Arthur’s Wild Magic” shows Monday through Friday at 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., and is dark on Saturday and Sunday.

white Bengal tiger Vegas

We considered kissing Saber goodbye, but thought better of it. Maybe next time.

Read more about Dirk Arthur’s new Las Vegas magic show at O’Sheas.

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