Friday, September 12, 2008

Flamingo performers Nathan Burton, Marie Osmond cross paths 17 years later

For years, it has been one of Nathan Burton's prized possessions.

It's been in his collection of show business keepsakes since he was a teen.

Now 35, Burton was an aspiring magician in Fort Smith, Ark., in 1991, "doing birthday parties and school shows. Anytime someone needed a magician, I was there."

At one of his shows, somebody liked what he saw.

"I got a call from a promoter," he recalled.

Next thing he knew, a poster was being plastered all over town. The teenage son of an Episcopal minister was opening two shows for touring Marie Osmond.

I asked him if the poster was framed.

"It will be after she signs it," he said. That's because Burton and Osmond now share the main showroom at the Flamingo Las Vegas.

"We've gone full circle," he said.

Donny and Marie Osmond opened a six-month engagement this week at the Flamingo. Burton headlines the 4 p.m. show.

"I opened for her 20-some years ago, and now we're on the same stage," said Burton, who signed with the Flamingo last April, his first major headlining gig in Las Vegas.

His road to the entertainment capital of the world took him from library gigs to Europe, South America and Japan, before he arrived in Las Vegas in 1999.

He started here as an act in "Showgirls of Magic" at the San Remo, now the Hooters Hotel. From there, he moved to the V show at The Venetian's C2K nightclub before joining David Saxe's V Theatre at the Aladdin, as an act. About two years ago, he started his own show at V Theatre before jumping to the Flamingo.

"By far the biggest thing ever," he said, "was 'America's Got Talent.' "

He didn't win the NBC show's first season, but the exposure was worth a million to Burton.

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