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Champions of Magic Set to Perform at E.J. Thomas Hall

A magic show comprised of five professional and famous illusionists, this performance will feature several entertaining and interactive acts that are family friendly.

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Champions of Magic Set to Perform at E.J. Thomas Hall

The illusionists include Fernando Velasco (left), Richard Young (left center), Alex McAleer (front center), Kayla Drescher (right center) and Sam Strange (right).

The illusionists include Fernando Velasco (left), Richard Young (left center), Alex McAleer (front center), Kayla Drescher (right center) and Sam Strange (right).

(Image via Champions of Magic)

The illusionists include Fernando Velasco (left), Richard Young (left center), Alex McAleer (front center), Kayla Drescher (right center) and Sam Strange (right).

(Image via Champions of Magic)

(Image via Champions of Magic)

The illusionists include Fernando Velasco (left), Richard Young (left center), Alex McAleer (front center), Kayla Drescher (right center) and Sam Strange (right).

By Megan Parker, Copy Editor

The Champions of Magic, a magic show featuring five world-class illusionists, will be performing at E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall on Dec. 16 at 6 p.m. as part of their 2018 international tour.

Tickets for the performance must be reserved in advance and can be purchased on Ticketmaster. Prices range from $30 to $100 with no listed discount for University of Akron students.

According to the UA events website, the performance “features original magic that can’t be seen anywhere else,” with several different acts from each illusionist.

Fernando Velasco, the escape artist with the Champions of Magic, said people should go to the show because it is unique from any other magic show in the world.

“There’s five different styles of magic,” Velasco said. “It’s just an absolutely crazy show and the production value is like very few in the world.”

“Incredible illusions with supercars, an impossible escape from Houdini’s water torture cell, a mind-blowing prediction that has to be seen to be believed, levitation high above the stage and a finale beyond explanation,” the UA website said.

This performance is family friendly. However, the Champions of Magic FAQ said it is not recommended for children under 5 years old due to loud noises and the dark room.

Children under 2 years of age are not allowed to attend the show as the high volume of the live performance could potentially damage their hearing.

During the performance, several volunteers will be chosen at random from the audience to assist the performers during some of their acts, as the Champions of Magic do not “use any actors or stooge in the show,” the FAQ said.

According to the FAQ, the magic show runs on average for two hours and 15 minutes with one intermission included. A longer or shorter time is possible since the show is interactive with the audience.

The five illusionists are international award winners with more than 20 million online views combined and television appearances such as “Access Hollywood Live” and “The Next Great Magician,” according to the Champions of Magic website.

Listed in the order on their website, the five illusionists are innovative illusionists Richard Young and Sam Strange, master mind-reader Alex McAleer, close-up magic expert Kayla Drescher and Velasco.

First, the illusionists Young & Strange are childhood friends from the U.K. with similar early interests in magic who started on creative illusions during their teenage years with just cardboard and tape.

(Image via Champions of Magic)
The duo of illusionists, Young & Strange, perform one of the classic illusions: how to saw a woman in half.

“With little money, they were forced to innovate, creating original illusions and magic tricks,” the Champions of Magic website said. “This soon caught the attention of magicians around the U.K. as an act to watch in the future.”

Next, McAleer is a self-taught mind reader from the U.K. who had a hobby in magic as a child and started to study magic manipulation techniques when he was 14 years old after his mother passed.

(Image via Champions of Magic)
Alex McAleer shows his master mind-reading skills through the use of several different techniques during the shows.

The Champion of Magic website said McAleer has “ the uncanny ability to apparently tap into his audience’s’ minds and read their thoughts at will… with a sharp wit and a flair for showmanship.”

Third, Drescher is a close-up magic expert from the U.S. who has multiple awards, such as the Society of American Magician’s Presidential Citation and Boston’s 2013 Magician the Year.

(Image via Champions of Magic)
lose-up magic expert Kayla Drescher interacts with random volunteers from the audience during the shows.

With several television appearances, including on the CW and NBC, Drescher “continues to push reality’s limits and create one unforgettable show,” the Champions of Magic website said.

Lastly, Velasco was born in Mexico before immigrating to Southern California, with an interest in magic that led to the Hollywood Magic Castle.

(Image via Champions of Magic)
One of the giant steel traps that Fernando Velasco has escaped from during previous shows.

At the Hollywood Magic Castle, Velasco learned several techniques from “some of America’s leading illusionists,” and after a few years “he mastered his art and won accolades from his fellow mentors,” the Champions of Magic website said.

Velasco said his favorite part about magic is being able to help people feel amazed and forget about their struggles for a moment.

“Being able to inspire wonder in the world a little bit, to make people forget about their problems and just be wowed by some magic: giving that emotion of wonder is probably my favorite thing,” Velasco said.

Overall, this performance is expected to have entertaining and impossible interactive acts of original magic that are not available in any other show from five professional and world-famous illusionists.

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