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2005-03-04

Spencers Magic :: Theatre of Illusion

Yesterday I spent the day with Kevin and Cindy Spencer, and their crew (and fellow magic team), David and Kylie Knight setting up and running their Theatre of Illusion show at my other job.

As an audience member (which I can pretend that I was, at least a little), this was a great show. They managed to fit a goodly amount of gear onto our small stage, and performed several wonderful large-scale illusions (you know, the really impressive ones). Intermixed with these was a Kevin's banter and some less spectacular (but no less well-executed) tricks. Kevin has a wonderful rapport with the audience and the intimate space mixed with the Spencers' high degree of audience interaction created a very close and involved feeling among the audience members (so much so that it was somewhat difficult to get them all to leave!). As I mentioned the illusions were very well-executed and quite convincing, and this from someone who saw the mechanisms up-close (though not close enough to figure any of them out).

As a tech director, my praise for the Spencers is, if anything, even more glowing. Above I called David and Kylie the crew, but that's totally inaccurate and insufficient. In fact, they were all both performer and crew; Cindy and Kevin did as much of the load in as anyone else. Had I not jumped on the scaffolding before Kevin climbed it he would have focused all the lights himself, not to mention writing all the cues (which he did). Cindy set up their sound and at one point had a hazer (fog) machine taken to bits on the stage, and exercise at which even my stout heart would quail. The entire group was extremely friendly and easy-going, and they were flexible beyond any expectation, even in the face of our less-than-experienced (or organized) crew. They were tremendously well-organized and an utter joy to work with; far beyond what one would expect.

In short, if you have the opportunity to see the Spencers perform, do so - I heard someone say that he thought their shows were better than Copperfield. I've never seen Copperfield live, but what I have seen tells me that the Spencers' show is much more accessible and they would be well worth a hour's drive to see, in my opinion. And if your venue is looking for a great show for your audience and a great experience for your crew, these are the folks to invite into your space.

The Spencers are on tour right now and are visiting many cities throughout the midwest and west of the United States. Take a look at their tour schedule.

1 Comments:

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