Spencers send image of magic up in smoke

The team is coming to town next week.

The magic show as you probably knew it has disappeared, gone the way of wands and rabbits being pulled out of top hats.

You’ll see what’s taken its place when Spencers: Theatre of Illusion comes to town. Or maybe you won’t believe your eyes.

The family-appropriate show, presented by the Springfield Arts Council, will be at 8 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Clark State Performing Arts Center.

“Most magic shows are either Vegas-like or something aimed at kids,” said Kevin Spencer, who leads the performance with his wife, Cindy. “What I wanted to do was a contemporary take that would combine my love for magic and theater and break the old stereotype of magic wands and rabbits.”

Spencer’s show combines the energy of a rock concert with the movement of the theater and spectacle of a stage show.

While the show focuses on a new direction, Spencer is respectful of the craft’s masters. He’s including an update of a trick Harry Houdini did just once on Broadway. The Springfield audience will also see the debut of two tricks.

For Spencer, it’s as much of a mind game as it is a physical show. His clinical psychology degree plays in tandem with his magic to keep the audience entranced.

Part of what motivates Spencer’s show is his love of the road, which has taken him as far as China. Spencer said he couldn’t effectively do a Vegas type of show in one location for an extended period.

“You get a different mindset in each audience. (My psychology) degree helps me get a feel for the audience, I survey them and that way we can build a rapport.”

Audience participation is a big part of the show. They can inspect some of the props on the way into the show to check their authenticity.

Spencer acknowledges that though the show has his name attached, he works with a talented team to create the magic, keep it fresh and to leave the audience wondering just how they did that.

“Come out and be ready to believe anything is possible,” said Spencer.

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