Real or Imaginary – Which World is Better?
The Marriott Theater in Lincolnshire is poised to host the award-winning 1989 Broadway hit, “City of Angels,” and if the claims by director Nick Bowling are true, the audience is in for a spectacular experience beginning in mid-June, and continuing for the next few months. Set in the 1940s, this musical is touted to be a film noir on stage. Movies such as “Double Indemnity” and “The Big Sleep” were quite popular during that time when crime potboilers ruled the roost, which is why this production is a fitting tribute to those films.
The blending of two worlds…
The plot begins with a young crime writer arriving in Hollywood, full of hope and ambition to ensure his very first book lands on the list of bestsellers. The theme of “City of Angels” is split into two parts – the first depicts the reel world of fictional film, and is in black & white, while the other is the real world where the hassled writer Stine puts in tremendous effort to keep his project afloat. The difficulty lies when the protagonist has to make certain sacrifices to climb up the ladder of success. Bowling touches on this aspect about how much one person can let go to stay ahead in the rat race!
There has been quite a bit of experimentation with the lighting and Bowling says audiences will be more than satisfied with the end result. The music is also scintillating as it combines behop and jazz with elements of comedy thrown in. Performing at the Marriott was a challenge in more ways than one because this musical is usually presented on a proscenium stage, but in this case, the team had to work with an in-the-round performance space. Bowling says it was good to put on their thinking caps and come up with something new and full of exciting possibilities to explore in future.
Watch it for the performances!
The cast is superb with two leads being played by Rod Thomas as Stine, the writer, and deep-voiced Kevin Earley as Detective Stone, his alter-ego. Actors Megan Murphy, Summer Smart, and Dani Smith also do justice to their roles. Watch out for the interactions between Stine and Stone as they are packed with powerful, hard-hitting dialogues that dabble with the idea of crossing lines to get something that one really covets.
Ready to watch this musical live? Go get the tickets!
Illusion or Reality – Can you tell the Difference?
Illusionists have a very difficult job – not only is it nerve-wracking to perform in front of hundreds, but they also need to convince the audience regarding the authenticity of illusions, or else they will be booed off the stage. Magician Dirk Arthur is a renowned illusionist who has been in showbiz for over 2 decades. He has appeared on national television and starred in his own widely acclaimed primetime special “Big Cat Magic” on Animal Planet.
Why is Wild Illusions special?
His show, known as Wild Illusions, at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, consists of some intriguing and unusual cast members – it features grand cats like white, orange and snow-white tigers and African and snow leopards. It also includes a bobcat along with a few birds. Dirk has worked with rabbits, doves, large birds such as emus and ostriches, and exotic cats for a long time, which have helped him to sharpen his skills in this area. People enjoy this show even more as it involves a certain degree of audience participation along with a combination of dance and comic elements.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s a freaking helicopter!
He holds the honor of the infamous “Helicopter Illusion” – Dirk is the first magician to make a helicopter appear out of nowhere. He admits it was (and is) his most challenging trick because conjuring a real, 26-foot-long helicopter out of thin air, on the edge of the stage right next to the audience, is no ordinary feat. It is extremely tough to pull this off as the illusion relies heavily on timing, and a split-second delay can totally spoil the act.
Sharing and caring comes naturally to him…
Dirk is not just an accomplished performer but an avid lover of wildlife. An educational video is screened before every show that covers the subject of preserving wildlife and provides information about endangered species. His goal is to integrate this idea into young minds by working with school kids. All the revenue from merchandise sales at his shows are donated to various animal care and conservation programs, and also used to fund educational programs in schools to create awareness about endangered animals.
To put it in a nutshell, his performance comprises his trademark illusions like escape tricks, levitation of a vehicle, making animals disappear with the aid of sparks and lightening, etc. It is a family-friendly show, so please attend with your kids as they will enjoy it immensely.
Learn more: Dirk Arthur’s Wild Illusions