Monthly Archives: September 2012

Exclusive Q&A with Darren Romeo, Masters of Illusion performer known as “The Voice of Magic”

Darren Romeo

“A hobby that grows into an art.”  For Darren Romeo, floating light bulbs and the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber are all in a day’s work. Romeo, who sings popular Broadway songs while performing incredible illusions, is one of the many talented performers in Masters of Illusion Live! coming to our State Theatre for one night only this Friday, September 21. This theatrical experience, also consisting of daring escape and quick change artists, two tigers, beautiful dancers and comedy magic, is totally live with no camera tricks or computer graphics.

Originally from New York, Darren Romeo was performing all over the U.S. within the magic convention circuit by age 14. In 1999, he won a World Magic Award for Best Up and Coming Magician. That same year, he scored his own show at the Flamingo Hilton in Las Vegas and led the legendary duo Siegfried and Roy to offer him a contract – something they’d never done before. We had the chance to get his take on all things magic.

Q. In addition to performing magic, you are known as “the voice of magic” and sing while you’re doing illusions. What led you to combine the two?

I was named after the singer Bobby Darin and, after performing a tribute to him as a child, I got the nickname “the voice of magic.” I’ve also had the honor of studying with many great voice teachers over the years.

Q. What can Minneapolis patrons expect to see in the Masters of Illusion Live! show?

You’re in for a true variety show- magic, illusion and comedy from some of the best in the field. It’s currently the nation’s largest touring magic show!

Q. Have you noticed any differences in audience reactions as you have performed around the world?

It has been mostly the same buzz and excitement everywhere. Although in Singapore and Japan, the audiences were a bit more shy and reserved. However, the autograph line after the show was as least as big!

Q. Since it’s a live magic show, I have to ask about stage mishaps.

Once, while singing and being cut in half, I caught on fire. Let’s just say that was exciting…

Darren Romeo says his favorite thing about magic is breaking the fourth wall with an audience. Savvy theatre patrons will recognize this industry term for when the imaginary “wall” in front of the stage in a traditional proscenium theatre is “broken” by the performers onstage. During the State Theatre show, audience members will become part of the act as they are called on stage to assist in the illusions. Tickets are on sale now (click here) and all tickets are half price for children ages 12 and under with the purchase of an adult ticket.

Read a feature from the Maryland Gazette where Darren describes his connection to the famed magician Harry Blackstone, Jr.

6 Tips for Taking Children to the Theatre

In a time where toddlers are confusing hard copy magazines for non-responsive iPads, and where our five year olds can navigate a cell phone like any other adult, it’s probably fair to say that live theatre can offer an exciting and refreshing experience for today’s little ones.  It’s true! Their favorite stories literally come to life, and it happens on a much grander scale than a 5-inch screen. But the medium of entertainment is not the only changing variable—live theatre happens in public. With other people. Elbow to elbow. The thought of a less-than-desirable reaction from your child can make any good parent hesitant to hit the box office, but have faith, ye moms and dads! We have tips, and a fantastic “practice” event too!

Tip #1 Prepare Your Child for the Trip

Explain to him or her that this is a different type of activity, where they will see real people on a stage to tell a story. Lay out the expectations, like remembering to sit still and no talking during the performance. And most importantly, familiarize him or her with the characters and the plot. If there’s a book or soundtrack about the play, great!

Tip #2 Timing, Timing, Timing

Does your child nap regularly? If so, be mindful of matinee performance times. Be sure he or she is well rested and fed before attending the performance. A cranky, tired, hungry child can lead to audience disruption, and a sleeping child won’t get to enjoy the show! And don’t worry about finishing snacks in the lobby. You can bring them in the theatre. Quiet snacks are best, and can also be purchased at our theatre concessions.

Tip #3 Keep It Comfy

Kids can be easily distracted, and one of the easiest distractions to avoid is uncomfortable clothing. Cute outfits won’t matter once the house lights lower, so bring out the cotton wear! Also, don’t be afraid to inquire about booster seats. The Orpheum, State, and Pantages theatres have them available for our shorter patrons in limited numbers, but if you’re worried about your little one’s sight lines, feel free to bring a cushion.  And if anything, bring THE blankie.

Tip #4 The Early Bird Doesn’t ALWAYS Get the Worm

Arrival time is key. If you get there too early, you might have an antsy kid who has probably lost interest. If you arrive too late, your child may feel rushed, which might not allow for time to settle into the atmosphere. Use about ten minutes before the show starts to use the bathroom, and provide a quiet activity for them to do in their seat while they wait. To the coloring book aisle!

Tip #5 Keep It Going!

Live theatre can be exciting, even during intermission and after the show. Feel free to take your child up to see the orchestra pit during intermission, and certainly engage them in conversations about the show after you leave. It will help to cap what was hopefully a very positive and fun experience for you and your child!

Tip #6 Check with us (or your other favorite theatre)

Always check with the theatre you plan on attending to see if there are any age recommendations, amenities or policies for bringing children to the theatre. For an example you can refer to Hennepin Theatre Trust’s age recommendations for Broadway productions and kids’ shows. The theatre always welcomes any questions you have!

Interested in having your child participate in a Hennepin Theatre Trust event this fall? Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is coming to the Orpheum Theatre in October, and in celebration of this classic fairytale story, we are offering the event, Little Royalty Tea at the IDS Crystal Court on October 13 from 11AM-1PM. Enjoy a lovely afternoon with Hennepin Theatre Trust and your favorite Disney Princes and Princesses! There will be delicious treats, Disney music compliments of the Wayzata High School Orchestra, and a classical Viennese Waltz dance instruction. This is an event fit for a royal family! Learn more.