A longtime magician and comedian from the Twin Cities hopes to pull a victory out of his hat now that he’s advanced to the finals of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” competition.

College campus favorite Derek Hughes, born and raised in St. Paul and now living in Los Angeles, has earned a spot on stage at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Sept. 15-16. The results were announced Wednesday night based on votes for his performance on Tuesday night. The 10th season’s winner is awarded an exclusive engagement of “America’s Got Talent Live!” in Las Vegas on Oct. 22-24 and collects a $1 million annuity.

The 44-year-old Hughes’ act Tuesday night had him in his PJs and reading a bedtime story to his two sons. He flipped through newsprint with an illustrated Humpty Dumpty tale, tore up the pages and — right before your very eyes — abracadabraed them back to their original form. Hughes isn’t the only local artist dazzling judges on national TV.

Minnesota native Andy Erikson advanced to the final five Wednesday on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” which will air its season finale next week. Roseanne Barr, Norm Macdonald and Keenen Ivory Wayans were the celebrities that helped push her forward. Erikson, the winner of the 2009 Aspen Rooftop College Comedy Festival, is a veteran performer at Acme Comedy Co. and was named Minnesota’s best Comedian Tweeter by the Star Tribune in 2012. The grand prize, worth $250,000, includes a development deal at NBC.


Modigliani nude may bring $100M

A painting of a female nude by Amedeo Modigliani that caused a scandal nearly a century ago is going on the auction block for the first time. “Reclining Nude,” one of Modigliani’s best-known works, was created in 1917 to 1918 for his friend and art dealer Leopold Zborowski. It will be the highlight of Christie’s Nov. 9 New York sale. The work’s presale estimate is over $100 million. That would exceed the current artist record of nearly $71 million. The painting comes from a private Swiss collection.


the end: A band that often sang about end times, Black Sabbath has announced its own end. The third date of the metal gods’ “The End” tour will be in Minneapolis at Target Center on Jan. 25. Tickets go on sale Sept. 12 at 10 a.m. through AXS.com and the arena’s box office. Prices will range between $35-$149. Three of the band’s four original members will hit the stage, including the ever-resilient Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler. Co-founding drummer Bill Ward has been feuding with Osbourne since 2012, claiming that the singer’s manager/wife Sharon Osbourne would not give him an equal quarter share of the band’s earnings.

Staff and wire reports