The best magic shows in New York City

When performed well, they welcome you to suspend disbelief in a special zone where skills honed over the course of years meet the element of surprise. Why not allow yourself a few illusions?

In magic shows across the city, some of the world’s best illusionists help make New York a city of wonders.

 

 

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English teacher also works as Frankie Ace, a magician and comic

Frank Alletto of Western Springs has two passions, poetry and magic. And they have something in common. A poet uses ordinary words to create extraordinary ideas, and a magician uses ordinary objects to create extraordinary experiences.

That’s what Alletto tells his students at Lyons Township High School, where he has been teaching English for 22 years.

“I graduated LT in 1992 and started teaching there in 1996,” Alletto said.

But he started learning magic tricks as a boy after he saw a magician at Disney World.

“I got a bunch of books about magic from the La Grange Public Library,” he said.

When he was about 8, he performed magic tricks at block parties and in the talent show at Seventh Avenue Elementary School in La Grange.

His interest in the hobby lagged a bit, until he was in college and saw a comedy magician at a TGIF’s restaurant doing jokes and tricks at customers’ tables.

“I was totally hooked,” Alletto said. “I started going to magic shops and watching VHS tapes of magicians.”

Alletto, who taught himself magic, performed on the side at birthday parties and restaurants during his early years of teaching. For about eight years, he also was in a band called Jank with his brother John.

“That’s how I met my wife. She was the special events coordinator for a bunch of bars,” Alletto said.

But when the couple had their second child, Alletto said he realized a part-time job that kept him out until 4 a.m. was not working anymore

So he resurrected his magic act, Frankie Ace Comedy Magician.

He has done 290 Frankie Ace shows at restaurants, festivals and private parties in one year, Alletto said. Five to 8-year-olds are his favorite audience.

“That is the giggliest and most adorable age,” Alletto said.

It’s also could be the loudest. At a recent Frankie Ace magic show in the lower level of the Hinsdale Public Library, the shouts and shrieks from the kids in the audience could be heard at the entrance.

For a time, he performed at Aurelio’s Pizza in La Grange, but the manager told him it was too loud.

“The kids were laughing and shrieking too much. He asked if I could do a quieter show,” Alletto said.

“I love to goof around with little kids and make them laugh,” Alletto said. “I think it’s genetic. My kids do it, too.”

He works so that the magic in the show is as entertaining as the jokes.

“I want the sleight of hand to be really good, so the adults in the audience watch,” said Alletto, who also teaches evening and online English classes at Roosevelt University.

One of his most popular tricks is the miser’s dream. Children pluck imaginary coins from the air and drop them in a bucket. There is a clank after each pretend coin is dropped and when the child looks inside there is a silver dollar.

Adults, he said, like card tricks and anything involving money.

“They love when I change a dollar bill to a $20 bill,” Alletto said.

Alletto can be reached at [email protected], Facebook at Frankie Ace, comedy magic, or at 708-721-4919.

Source: Chicago Tribune:

Three magicians headline Taylor Martin’s monthly Indy Magic show

The longest running magic show in Indianapolis returns on the second Tuesday of July to the Indy Fringe Indy Eleven Theater. And it is a doozy. Three major stars of magic will be performing that night. Headlining will be Nathan Kranzo. Nathan’s magic is respected and taught all over the world. After you see him you will believe you can bend metal with your mind!!  Then coming to us for the first time is Michael Kent of Columbus, Ohio. Voted College Entertainer of the Year, Michael was recently on Penn and Teller’s Fool Us! with an amazing routine featuring dozens of bottles and glasses from nowhere. Taylor has persuaded him to perform the legendary “Sands of Time” for the first time on an Indy Magic stage. Then, returning after an absence of 6 years, The Gentle Giant of Magic Lion Fludd is back from Las Vegas. Having headlined his own magic show on the downtown Las Vegas stage, this great magician will make a homecoming that will not be forgotten. Plus, Taylor’s own magic and hosting will be featured and he always has a few tricks up his sleeves and in his haversacks. Plus, door prizes and surprises galore will be in abundance.

Tickets are online at indyfringe.org and at the door. For more information: (317) 431-1320 or indymagicmonthly.com. Check us out at indyfringe.org, too!

Source: Indy Magic show

 

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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Theme parks are already preparing for Halloween

While people around the country get ready for the Fourth of July, popular theme parks are already getting ready for the next big holiday, Halloween.

Although Halloween is still more than three months away, tickets for many theme park special events are already available, with some of the celebrations starting as early as August.

Walt Disney World in Orlando will begin celebrating Halloween while many of us are still on summer vacation with the first of several Mickey’s-Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties scheduled for Aug. 17.

The event is a limited-ticket, after hours event, meaning regular guests will be kicked out of the Magic Kingdom by 7 p.m. and only those who have purchased a ticket for the Halloween Party will be allowed to remain in the park.

The event features shows, a parade and fireworks exclusive to the party, as well as shorter lines on some of the park’s most popular rides as a result of limited crowds.

This year’s evet will feature new ride overlays on Pirates of the Caribbean and the popular teacup ride, as well as a new Disney Junior dance party for the little ones.

One of the biggest draws for Disney fans, however, might be the opportunity for meet-and-greets with rare characters who are not present on regular days in the park.

Jack Skellington, from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and all of Snow White’s Seven Dwarfs are known to make appearances. Last year, Moana, who has not had a consistent presence in the parks despite the popularity of her namesake movie, made an appearance at the event with some waiting in line for more than two hours for the rare photo opportunity.

Tickets for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party are available online, and start at $79, with prices increasing for dates closer to Halloween.

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