"Don't call us just magicians or conjurers--storytellers would be just right."

I believe it is a bit of an exaggeration to describe Siegfried and Roy as "storytellers"; but their nightly act in the Siegfried & Roy Theatre at The Mirage in Las Vegas presents much more than just magic and disappearing tigers. The show, which indeed features a great deal of splendid magic and fantastic animals, can best be described as a flashy display of Las Vegas grandeur. It is mostly about dancers and acrobats and over-the-top costumes while the two magicians battle dragons and disappear villains (always played by leading lady Lynette Chappell) and escape deathtraps.

However, these two German immigrants devote most of their time and energy to the preservation of endangered species, primarily the royal white tigers featured in the show. They have constructed a Jungle Palace in Las Vegas where they live together with several species of endangered animals, including royal white tigers, heterozygous gold tigers, and white lions. They have also created a nearby Secret Garden, where tourists can visit the animals in their home.

Siegfried and Roy are two men who perform magic acts together; they have recently been performing eight shows a week in a 1504 seat theatre at The Mirage. Siegfried Fischbacher met Roy Uwe Ludwig Horn in 1957 when they met on an ocean liner. Siegfried was working as a steward and Roy as a waiter when Roy noticed Siegfried performing magic off-duty. They were soon friends and Roy became Siegfried's assistant.

One night Roy told Siegfried that his magic was too predictable and that they should make larger animals (opposed to birds or rabbits) disappear during magic acts. The duo practiced using a cheetah Roy had smuggled onboard from the Bremen zoo. They travelled around Europe for the next five years performing in clubs until they acquired a booking at the casino in Monte Carlo. After they performed well enough to receive a standing ovation, a representative of the Folies Bergère later tracked them down and asked if they were willing to go to Las Vegas, Nevada.

In Las Vegas, Siegfried and Roy have performed for more than 25 million people during their 30+ year stay. They have also both starred in a movie based on their lives titled Siegfried & Roy: The Magic Box (1999). The PETA along with Pamela Anderson have criticized the duo for keeping their animals in captivity.

On October 3, 2003 (Roy's 59th birthday), a white lion named Montecore lunged at Roy's throat and dragged him off stage. Roy was immediately rushed to hospital and suffered massive blood loss, a stroke and had to undergo three surgeries. The show has been put on hold indefinitely.

Update: March 2, 2004 - Roy Horn is able to walk with the help of a wheeled walking aid. He managed to walk 558 paces in the span of one week. Source: Salon.com article.


Siegfried: "All good things come with responsibility and also with fear of responsibility. That fear puts you in handcuffs. Those are the most important handcuffs I ever escaped from."

Roy: "Every night when I'm onstage, all the things I'm doing are for real. They are not illusions but facts, and that is how I execute them. Whether I fly through the air or battle a fire-breathing dragon or sit on a white tiger--that is my reality. If we are living our imagination, we are the greatest."


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