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Penn & Teller cancel magic shows over back injury

Spinal-fusion surgery and a comedy-magic production are an unhappy mix.

Consequently, Penn & Teller have shut down their production show effective immediately. The duo will not be back onstage until Aug. 18. They called off their show at Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Miss., on Friday night and have pulled their shows at the Rio off the schedule, too.

The duo already had planned to take a hiatus so Teller could undergo spinal-fusion surgery, the lingering result of hanging from straitjackets and climbing in and out of boxes for more than 40 years. The original dark period was to start July 10, but Teller’s back had other ideas after P&T’s performance Wednesday at Beau Rivage.

Though in pain, Teller was able to finish the performance. But then skipped the post-show meet-and-greet for the first time in 43 years, and began making calls to alter the duo’s upcoming schedule.

Teller’s surgery is now scheduled for Monday in Las Vegas. He posted a note to fans and ticket-holders on his Twitter page Thursday:

“My sincere apologies to our fans in Biloxi and folks who were planning on seeing the Vegas show. Last night during the show my back firmly ordered me to cut the crap and get it fixed. So I’m stopping work from today till August 18th and getting my back surgery pronto. Love – T.”

In a separate post, the 70-year-old illusionist added, “In our entire prior career, I think we’ve had to cancel only four shows on short notice. So I (and much of our crew) feel disoriented and befuddled — as if we’re in one of those showbiz nightmares where you can’t find your way back to the stage in time for the next cue.”

Jillette also posted, “Teller is getting his back totally fixed a little sooner than expected. So P&T are on hiatus from everything until August 18th and then the boys will be back and bad!”

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