Kevin and Cindy Spencer’s 'Theatre of Illusion' show, which features more than 12 tons of state-of-the-art illusions and special effects, is overshadowed only by David Copperfield’s in size. Contributed photo.
With all regards to the brilliance of Broadway and the sparkle of Tinsel Town, master illusionist Kevin Spencer and his wife Cindy prefer taking their production on the road, traveling across America and around the globe. Boasting more than 12 tons of state-of-the-art illusions and special effects, the couple’s production is overshadowed only by David Copperfield’s in size.
The Spencers will bring their “Theatre of Illusion” to Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Greeneville at 7:30 p.m., Friday. Tickets are $20 for balcony seats and $30 for orchestra and mezzanine seating.
“Theatre of Illusion” is not your run-of-the-mill magic show, and the Spencers are not your typical magicians. The Spencers carry a lot of equipment in their 65-foot customized truck and trailer, but a rabbit and a top hat are not in the inventory. The Spencers' production is a unique fusion of magic and illusion, humor and mystery, and persona and personality.
With a background in clinical psychology, Kevin Spencer says, “I was going to help people's minds, but now I just mess with them.”
“Theatre of Illusion” stands in stark contrast to the traditional magic show. Spencer sees it not as a stage full of tricks used to fool people, but as a way to inspire viewers with a sense of wonder. By blending the theatrical elements of a Broadway-style production with the high energy of a rock concert, the artists take their audience on a journey to the brink of impossibility and back again. Audience members don't simply watch the show, but are also invited to participate in the magic. Using magic much like a storyteller uses words, Kevin Spencer fuses this family-friendly production with a gamut of emotions. And with the skills of a master showman, he creates a world where nothing is impossible and anything can happen.
The duo, who have been described as “modern-day Houdinis,” presents a big, high-tech stage show that combines drama, comedy, romance and suspense with elaborate stage illusions. They are the only artists in history to be named Performing Arts Entertainers of the Year for a record-breaking six consecutive years and have twice been named America’s Best Entertainers.
Kevin Spencer will visit Niswonger Children’s Hospital on Thursday as part of his outreach program Healing of Magic.
“Healing of Magic is a collaborative partnership between organizations such as NPAC and area healthcare providers such as Niswonger Children’s Hospital,” said Angie Wilson, managing director of NPAC. “Essentially, this outreach program offers the use of simple magic tricks in rehabilitation. It’s a carefully designed and systematic approach for both patients, and their caregivers.
“Earlier this year, [NPAC] Executive Director Tom Bullard and I were in New York meeting with Kevin and he described specifics of the program and we felt it would be an ideal benefit, both short-term for the patients and long-term for the caregivers. They’ll learn some simple illusions that will continue to provide impact long after his visit.”
Tickets may be purchased online at www.npacgreeneville.com, in person at the NPAC box office or by calling (423) 638-1679.