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‘Mind-blowing’ talent set for comedy festival’s magic show

March 16, 2017
March 16, 2017

The Great American Comedy Festival’s annual family comedy-magic show may be full of sleight of hand, but there’s no illusion about this: The entertainers scheduled to perform are world-class.

“We have another wonderful show lined up for the festival this year — some really talented folk with very unique acts appropriate for the entire family and adults will love as well,” said Richard Barrett, manager of the Comedy and Magic Club in Los Angeles. “This is a show you won’t want to miss — bring the family, bring your girlfriend, come by yourself, we don’t care. But everyone will be talking about the show the next day, and you’ll regret not having gone.”

As he has in the past, Barrett personally selected the three acts that will be part of this year’s comedy-magic show. It moves to a new night — Thursday, June 15, at 7 p.m. at the Johnny Carson Theatre — this year because of the festival’s revamped schedule for its 10th year.

Scheduled to perform are Kalin & Jinger, Marcus Monroe and Jeff and Tessa Evason.

Barrett said, “Kalin & Jinger are truly one of the top acts in the world with numerous TV appearances on their résumé, and they’re fresh off a successful run on Broadway. They’re exactly what you expect from a classic magic act: big illusions, interactive stage magic, theatrical showmanship, all while being innovative and exciting.”

Kalin creates what appear to be impossible illusions on a monolithic scale. For example, in 2001, Kalin made magic history by performing the largest stage illusion in the world — the vanishing of an American Airlines jumbo jet in front of a live audience.

They have received magic’s highest honor, Magicians of the Year, by the prestigious Academy of Magical Arts-Hollywood’s Magic Castle.

They have made numerous television appearances including NBC’s “World’s Greatest Magicians,” “Hidden Secrets of Magic,” Fox Family’s “Magic on the Edge” as well as appearances on “Entertainment Tonight,” CBS and ABC.

Dubbed “the rock star of jugglers,” Marcus Monroe combines innovative juggling with a high-energy original take. He is the recipient of the prestigious Andy Kaufman Award, awarded once a year to a performer who exhibits an original and creative performance with the spirit and execution of the late Kaufman.

Monroe has appeared on dozens of national TV shows, including “The Late Show with David Letterman,” Discovery’s “Kid’s Mad Science,” The History Channel’s “Pawn Stars” and CBS’ “Secret Talents of the Stars.”

Barrett said, “Marcus Monroe is on a quest to be the world’s most famous juggler and after you see him you’ll probably believe he is. His act is really energetic and funny. He’s young, hip, hilarious and will be doing things that you and I can’t do!”

Jeff and Tessa Evason are acclaimed as master mentalists, Barrett said.

“The Evasons are absolutely mind-blowing. They are a mentalist duo (with) extraordinary skills that defy explanation. They put on an incredible show that will have you guessing, ‘How did they do that?’ for the next few days,” Barrett said.

The Evasons have been honored with some of the top awards in their field. They are the first mentalists in history to receive the Milbourne Christopher Award, considered to be the Academy Award of magic, from the Society of American Magicians. Past recipients include David Copperfield, Doug Henning and Siegfried and Roy.

The Evasons have traveled to more than 38 countries to appear at special events, entertain troops overseas and headline on cruise ships and casino showrooms. They’ve appeared on NBC, FOX, CBS, Discovery Channel and others.

“I’m really excited about this year’s performers and if you’ve been to one of our shows in the past, you’ll know that we’re bringing world-class talent to Norfolk,” Barrett said.