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Hypnotist says show can’t go on with mask mandate in place

Updated August 1, 2021 - 7:47 am

Marc Savard is not all smiles over the return of face covers at his Las Vegas Strip hypnosis show.

The veteran headliner has paused his production at V Theater at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood as the state and CDC is requiring face covers for everyone indoors, regardless of whether he or she is vaccinated.

That directive, issued at 12:01 a.m. Friday, covers audience members at live-entertainment shows. The performers themselves are exempt.

However, Savard’s show requires the star — Savard — to call 20 to 25 audience members to the stage. He keeps the eight or 10 (depending on the audience size) most likely to succumb to hypnosis.

“To perform the show right, I need to make eye contact, read body language and see if they are laughing or smiling,” Savard said Saturday afternoon. “Facial expressions are a big part of the show.”

Savard’s show is the first ticketed Las Vegas production to announce it is on hiatus because of the latest return to face covers. He said it was likely he would be back when that directive is relaxed but is not entirely sure how he’ll proceed given the uncertainty the pandemic has created.

“I have to be careful in trying to predict what is going to happen,” Savard said. “This is changing weekly.”

Savard was back on the V2 Theater stage on June 24 and had performed 29 shows before hitting the brakes. He opened at the David Saxe Productions venue in February 2007. He is now the only headlining hypnotist on the Strip. Caesars Entertainment closed the Anthony Cools Experience and Cools’ own long-running comedy/hypnosis show in May.

“I want to be back, and had waited a long time to get back onstage,” Savard said. “But I do have a responsibility to do a show that’s safe, and to put on the best show possible.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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