Saturday, April 16, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Local magicians conjure 9th annual benefit show
(VIDEO)By JAMI KUNZER – firstname.lastname@example.orgApril 13, 2011
This is a show that can only be described as magical.
For the ninth year in a row, some of Illinois’ most popular magicians will come together for “Nothin’ Up My Sleeve,” a fundraising event for the Raue Center for the Arts in downtown Crystal Lake.
The show takes place at 6 p.m. Saturday.
“We want to make sure we pack that house again and help out the theater during these hard times,” said Nino Cruz, the show’s producer and a performer who’s been called “The Harry Houdini of Lake Geneva, Wis.”
No Houdini tricks this year, Cruz said, but plenty of illusions, mind-reading and magic are planned.
And fire, “a lot of fire,” he said.
In between acts, Cruz said he’ll call up audience members and mystify them a bit.
Cruz and fellow producer and performer Glenn Chelius of Crystal Lake started the fundraiser years ago, drawing from legend Marshall Brodien. Known for his role as Wizzo the Wizard on WGN-TV’s “Bozo’s Circus” and “The Bozo Show” from 1968 to 1994, Brodien was honored during last year’s show.
This year, he’ll be in the audience enjoying the show, Cruz said.
This year’s show will include the debut of “The Nerdician,” basically a nerd magician, performed by Mark Presley of Fox River Grove. Presley is offering a glimpse of his new comedy act at 8:25 a.m. today on WGN’s Morning News (Channel 9 in Chicago).
The event will feature ventriloquist Chuck Fields and Friends as master of ceremonies and host.
“Circus Boy” will ride the World’s Smallest Tricycle, a feat that landed him in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not,” and perform his comical juggling antics.
Illusionist Frank Glab, known as “Frankini,” will demonstrate his fire-eating abilities, as well as his other magic characters, including an Egyptian Magician. The description for the latter goes something like this: “Not only does he display the magic and illusions that once were presented before the pharohs of ancient Egypt, he also is a half-naked man juggling knives! Need we say more?”
After the show, the magicians will do a meet-and-greet and autograph posters, Cruz said.
“I don’t know how many shows you can actually meet the performers,” he said.
“Everyone’s going to have a great time.”
NOTHIN’ UP MY SLEEVE
WHEN: 6 p.m. April 16
WHERE: Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake
INFO: Annual magic show brings together some of the Midwest’s finest magicians and entertainers. Children and adults of all ages will be mystified, dazzled, befuddled and bamboozled by tricks, sleight-of-hand, amazing illusions and juggling. Tickets: $17, $20, $23 at 815-356-9212 or www.rauecenter.org.
The first vehicle in the procession pulled up to the rodeo fairgrounds in Lake Havasu City around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.
It was the 32-man tent crew. Their first task: drive 205 stakes into the ground.
The 150-foot by 220-foot big red top tent started to unfold over the next four hours.
All the while, a procession of 45 vehicles, more than half of them semi-trucks, rolled onto the grounds at SARA Park south of the city.
Thirty-six animals, from a zebra to elephants, were unloaded, watered and fed.
Then the mobile office pulled up, followed by the traveling kitchen, the concessions and the mechanical department that pulls up the rear just in case a vehicle breaks down while traveling.
The crew had awakened early in Prescott and drove south nearly 200 miles to perform two shows in Lake Havasu City Wednesday.
Today they move on to Parker, then to 29 Palms to kick off their seven-week tour through California.
They perform every single day from mid-March through mid-November. This year, they happen to get Easter off.
Every single day, 150 people travel the miles to create a two-hour memory for nearly 2,000 people each show. Only about 20 percent of the crew actually performs in the circus.
Barbara Byrd’s family owns the Carson and Barnes Circus, based in Oklahoma. She said her family has owned the circus for 75 years making it the longest, family-circus ownership in America’s history.
She said the circus business is 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And many of the crew are third and fourth generation. She said the traveling exhibit is almost entirely “self-contained” by providing their own electricity, water, septic, school for employees’ children, and an employee cafeteria.
“People have no concept (of what it takes to get a circus show ready),” Byrd said. “We have a great bunch of people … that just want to keep the circus alive.”
Byrd said she spends much of her time making sure licenses and permits are squared away in each of the cities and counties they visit.
But she said she still makes time to watch the shows.
“I enjoy the show,” she said. “It’s something you have to really love or you wouldn’t do it. Sometimes you get jaded and a little tired and you wonder how long (you can do it), but it makes you feel like you are doing something worthwhile. It’s a family thing. I think it’s a thing where you are making memories. We make memories for families.”
By J.T. MORAND
Samantha Martin gets hung up on a lot.
But that's just the nature of being the ring leader of a cat circus called the Amazing Acro-Cats.
When she pitches the show to theater owners around the country, the call usually ends with a click. The show features 12 cats that walk tight ropes, ride skateboards, push carts, ring bells, jump through hoops, and do assorted other tricks, sometimes with a chicken or groundhog sharing the stage, followed by a concert by the Rock Cats. The Rock Cats "play" guitar, drums and piano ... when they feel like it.
But, the Skokie Theatre didn't hang up on Martin and audiences love her and the cats. The Amazing Acro-Cats are scheduled to perform there April 17, May 8, Sept. 25 and Oct. 16.
SRO shows The Acro-Cats packed the theater last spring. Martin coaxed the felines into performing various feats with a clicker, but prefaced the show with a warning: Although the cats are trained, they are cats and pretty much do whatever they want. The show also included rats, ferrets and fowl, critters cats would love to pounce on. The potential for disaster seemed immense, especially with children and adults laughing and clapping. An animal freak-out was bound to happen.
read more at:http://www.pioneerlocal.com/parkridge/entertainment/3148686,entertainment-cook-acrocats-041411-s1.article
Times-Herald staff report
Posted: 04/13/2011, http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_17833711?nclick_check=1
Butler Amusements' fifth annual Vallejo Spring Carnival is set for Thursday though Sunday along the waterfront, carnival officials said.
The event will be held at Service Club Park, at Mare Island Way and Georgia Street in celebration of the carnival's 42 years in business, they said.
Butler Amusements brings some of its most popular rides this year, including The Yo Yo -- a variation of the swing, which turns and leans, spokesman Mike Gorman said.
The Giant Wheel, Supershot, Nitro, Haywire, Slide, Thunderbolt and Viper will be among the more than a dozen rides available this year, officials said.
Butler Amusements, Inc. operates more than 100 amusement rides in six western states -- California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada and Arizona.
If you go ...
What: Butler Amusements' fifth annual Vallejo Spring Carnival.Where: Service Club Park at Mare Island Way and Georgia Street.
When: Thursday through Sunday. Hours -- 4 to 10 p.m. Thursday; 4 to 11 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.Cost: $2 adult admission, children under 6, free. Rides are $1 per coupon and range from three to five coupons. A $25 wristband is available for unlimited rides.