The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg will present Theatre of Illusion, featuring The Spencers, Saturday, March 28, at 7 p.m. A 60-minute, sensory-friendly performance also is set for March 28, at 2 p.m. Theatre of Illusion will kick off the Theatre’s Family series, specially designed for audience members ages eight and older and their families.
Kevin and Cindy Spencer, known professionally as The Spencers, are among the world’s most recognized magical performers. The duo has mesmerized millions of people with sold-out performances in 19 countries on five continents. The Spencers have been named “Performing Arts Entertainers of the Year” six times and, in 2009, were bestowed magic’s highest honor, the “Merlin Award for International Magicians of the Year,” joining the ranks of Henning, Copperfield, and Penn & Teller.
Is it possible for a person to be folded inside a 12-inch box, to walk through the whirling blades of an industrial fan, and to escape from a water-filled container? Audience members will cross over a threshold of disbelief mere moments after The Spencers take the stage.
The Spencers’ production is a unique fusion of magic and illusion, humor and mystery, and persona and personality. Theatre of Illusion stands in stark contrast to the traditional magic show. By blending the theatrical elements of a Broadway-style production with the high energy of a rock concert, the artists take their audience on a journey to the brink of impossibility—and back again. Audience members don’t simply watch the show, they are invited to participate in the magic.
Kevin Spencer has committed his life to magic both on and off the stage. When he’s not setting up a show, Spencer can be found spreading the word about the therapeutic and educational benefits of learning magic for people with a variety of disabilities. He is widely considered the leading authority on the functional and academic benefits of the art of illusion. He is the creator of two special projects, “Healing of Magic,” which uses simple magic tricks as a form of rehabilitative therapy, and “Hocus Focus,” which integrates magic tricks into the classroom as a way of motivating students in the learning process. Both projects have an international reputation with published research in leading scientific journals. Spencer received the “Harry Chapin Award for Contributions to Humanity” in recognition of his work in healthcare and education.
In conjunction with the RVCC performances, Spencer will present “Hocus Focus – A Family-Fun Magic Workshop,” Sunday, March 29, at 2 p.m. The workshop is geared toward children with learning disabilities—including individuals on the autism spectrum and those with developmental and cognitive delays—and their families. During the 45-minute program, youngsters and parents are taught simple magic tricks and are given the opportunity to perform in front of the group. The workshop incorporates activities that exercise creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking. It also provides an opportunity for the entire family to have fun together. The program is free of charge, but reservations are encouraged. To register, call 908-231-8801.
The Spencers’ presentations are funded in part by Investors Foundation.
Seating for both March 28 performances is general admission. Tickets cost $15 each for the 7 p.m. show and $10 each for the 2 p.m. performance. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Box Office, 908-725-3420, or order online at www.rvccArts.org. Subscribers’ packages are available for most Theatre series. Senior citizen, student and group discounts are also available for most performances.