More than 100 residents gathered for the magician performing at Thompson’s Opera House this Tuesday. Geoffrey Hansen, world renowned escape artist, illusionist and magician, has been performing magic for more than 50 years, and in 24 different countries. Hansen started the show with a few quick tricks that really stunned the young attendants, with ropes, card tricks, and a mirror trick.
Hansen asked for volunteers, and the children’s hands flew up. The younger ones were on the edge of their seats to watch the performance. Many of the children said this was their first magic show.
Hansen interlocked brass rings, made handkerchiefs disappear and reappear, and even had a guillotine to perform a head chopping trick. Hagen Boyce and Wyatt Woodworth were lucky volunteers that were allowed to tie Hansen in rope, shoulders to ankles, as tight as they could. Hansen was able to remove the knots and free himself. He had shackles that he magically was able to remove and still leave locked. He also put on a straight jacket, assisted by Kobe Kelley, where he stunned the audience as he escaped that restraint as well.
Hansen’s show was comical and light. Many of the adults caught on to his one-liners and the children volunteers were all given Magician’s Assistant certificates, along with a card trick of their own that Hansen taught them how to perform. The certificate stated that their service during the show, “proved so beneficial to its successful transition and conclusion,” and that all who received a certificate, “pledged to keep secret any magical mysteries that may have been revealed while engaged in the performance.”
Hansen wasn’t alone in the performance. Tim Smallwood, a Bill Clinton-impersonator, arrived with his “Top Secret” briefcase that was full of tricks. Giving the audience some chuckles, he repeatedly kept emptying a container that was on stage catching drops from a leaky roof. Every few minutes, the bucket would magically fill with water that he would have to dump out in front of the crowd.
Smallwood “hypnotized” the audience with a spinning wheel. A trick on the eyes, after staring at the spiraling wheel for many seconds, the audience was told to stare at Smallwood’s head, which appeared to shrink and grow from the gaze at the wheel.
He gave new meaning to the term magic-marker, as he drew a simple sketch that came to life on the drawing board.
County Sheriff Kerry Lee was present for the show, and was asked to pick a card from an oversized deck. Once the card was selected, he put it back in the deck and was asked to shoot at it from a distance. After a few attempts, his last shot fired revealed the five of clubs. The card he had selected was the four of clubs. Taking the gun, Smallwood fired a single shot at one of the clubs, turning it into a four at the amazement of the crowd.
No Clinton impersonator would be complete without a few jokes about Hillary and Monica, and a saxaphone performance, which Smallwood did at the delight of the crowd.
After the show, the magicians stayed to autograph pictures for the attendants, selling DVDs and photos of the magicians.
Danika Hunt, one of the young volunteers, said, “I liked the show because it was cool.”
Smallwood and Hansen have been performing more than 20 years together, after starting in the casinos of Las Vegas. Playing in all varieties of sizes of venues, Les Derkovitz, liaison for the opera house, said, “they kind of custom-tailored their show for where they were at. They have a lot more bigger tricks.”
Barbara Constantine, who helped sell tickets at the show, said, “I enjoyed it.”
Derkovitz said, “It was better than I expected, a lot of fun I think. Everyone of all ages enjoyed it, especially with the kids.”
He mentioned there was talk of trying to book the duo again in the future.
The newly installed sound system and drapes at the opera house received many compliments, Derkovitz said. “It definitely improved the sound, the new system passed with flying colors.”
He said, “It was all a win-win. We couldn’t have asked for a better show.”