'Stars of Magic' has tricks, illusions up their sleeves

'Stars of Magic' annual showcase appears Saturday
2013-08-22T00:00:00Z 2013-08-22T07:06:08Z 'Stars of Magic' has tricks, illusions up their sleevesCathalena E. Burch Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
August 22, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Tucson's annual "Stars of Magic" showcase marks its 26th year this weekend, making it by the organizers' estimation one of the longest-running magic shows in the country.

It also is one of the most popular family shows in Tucson, bringing in audiences young and old who are enamored by the lineup of local magicians covering the full range of magic - from mind-boggling sleight-of-hand tricks to mesmerizing illusions.

The show is produced by the Tucson chapter of the Society of American Magicians - the John E. Alexander Assembly 136. The nonprofit club has been in Tucson more than 30 years.

Here's what you can expect to see on Saturday:

• Tucson's first couple of magic John Shryock & Mari Lynn, who mix high-energy comedy with grand illusions.

• Internationally traveled close-up stage magician George Franzen, who once owned his own magic parlor, "The Magic Place," in New York. He moved to Tucson 11 years ago.

• Michael DeSchalit has been in 16 "Stars of Magic" shows, sometimes sharing the stage with his daughters and wife. His niche: He's a comic hypnotist.

• Hiro & Yuki find the greatest joy in thrilling audiences, and both use their magic to help cancer patients. The pair won the 2011 Stage Magician of the Year contest with the Tucson SAM chapter.

• A baker by day and magician by night, Norm Marini has a strong following for his sleight-of-hand and closeup tricks as well as his commanding stage show.

• Jayson Schultz discovered magic when he was 13 and hasn't turned back in the decade or more since.

• School-teacher-turned-magic-man Mike Bekedam stumbled into the art form in the most unlikely of ways: he stole his daughter's birthday present. OK, not exactly stole, but he borrowed the magic kit she got for her birthday and fell in love with close-up magic.

• Likely the most intriguing of the acts on the lineup, The Brothers Macabre - Nate Anderson and Kenny Stewart - play with your mind with their interactive mental tricks.

• Dr. Rev. Stephen Strange of The Strange Family Circus rolls back the clock to the early 20th century for a show that is cynical, mystical and downright mysterious. Someone once called Strange Steam Punk's answer to Penn & Teller.

• Barely into her 20s, Valerie Spell holds two distinctions on the billing: She's the youngest performer and the only solo female magician. She got her start in magic as part of parents Bruce and Jan Spell's magic show. She recently left the family act to break out on her own.

If you go

• What: 26th annual "Stars of Magic" show.

• When: 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

• Where: Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave.

• Tickets: $15 adults, $10 children 12 and under in advance at starsofmagic2013.com or at the door.

• Details: starsofmagic2013.com

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at cburch@azstarnet.com or 573-4642.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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