The sold-out audience at the Pearson Lakes Art Center experienced a tutorial in reality or illusion and left pondering what they witnessed Saturday night, Feb. 8.
Spencers Theatre of Illusion show was presented in cooperation with the Hancher Auditorium Friends in Iowa City. Kevin and Cindy Spencer have been named Performing Arts Entertainers of the Year for six consecutive years and now International Magicians of the Year. After sitting through their show, I see why -- but not how -- it was done!
The lady sitting next to me joined my efforts in trying to figure out how those "illusions" were accomplished and we failed miserably. Kevin Spencer is a first-class entertainer who got his audience's attention immediately and never lost it. While I qualify that statement by explaining that there were many, many children in the audience, we adults were mystified as well.
The show began with a local flavor as Kevin ripped a copy of section A of last week's edition of the Dickinson County News into small pieces while we all watched and listened to the sounds made by the tearing. Needless to say, it wasn't ripped at all when he unfolded it -- the audience was hooked!
Several people from the audience were asked to participate. Angela, Mike, Diane, Sunny, Kathy and Carter assisted with several illusions such as three metal rings, mind-reading, the box of spikes and the cement block wall.
While the kids were thrilled with the tricks, we adults also enjoyed the bits of magic history Kevin told us. He also, I hasten to add, changed his shirt several times during the show. We weren't sure about the reasoning for that.
The Australian pom pom trick was amusing to us all. My favorite was the New Orleans-inspired bottle and glass trick. It is two days later and I am still trying to figure out where all those bottles came from!
The couple co-founded the Healing of Magic program and Kevin authored the Hocus Focus curriculum for special education students. They will continue to present these programs for young people throughout Iowa this week before returning to their home in Virginia.
The show was a delightful evening of entertainment for young and old alike. It was different from the usual musical PLAC offerings, mentally stimulating and thoroughly entertaining.