OCEAN CITY — For a lot of people, there will always be some magic in Ocean City during the summer. This year, that magic is more literal than normal.
The Dickens Parlour Theatre is teaming up with the Holiday Inn and Brick House Pub to provide a summer of Wednesday Night Magic Shows at the hotel’s 67th Street location.
“We’re featuring world-class magicians,” promised Dickens General Manager Cheryl DuBois. “These are the best magicians in the world performing there.”
Every Wednesday at 7 p.m. Dickens will bring a new magician to the Holiday Inn for a roughly hour-long show. Because each show will feature a new talent, every performance will be different, said DuBois. But all of the shows will have comedy, illusions and entertainment.
Dickens magicians are big on audience participation, according to 67th Street Holiday Inn General Manager Jason Gulshen.
“It’s an event that engages kids and adults,” he said.
At the first-ever Wednesday Night Magic Show last week, Gulshen was impressed by how comfortable performer Chris Capehart was with the crowd. The show clicked well with children and their parents, said Gulshen. More surprisingly, adults in the crowd without children also seemed to be having a blast, he added.
“This is a neat date night. If you want to go on a date, you’re usually either going to a bar or a restaurant,” said Gulshen.
Dickens theatre makes it a point to bring in acts that appeal to every age group, DuBois explained.
“We feel like this is a great form of entertainment for families to have the opportunity to have an adult and family and child friendly night out,” she said. “And it’s really appealing from ages 3 to 93.”
Gulshen also agreed the caliber of magicians is amazing.
“They are all professional magicians. They’re doing shows in Las Vegas and Atlantic City and on cruises…these guys come from a theatre where there are 1,000 or 2,000 people watching them perform,” said Gulshen, “and then the next week they’re here in Ocean City.”
Dickens, a 60-seat theatre located in Millville, Del., is able to bring in such big names because owner and founder Rich Bloch is immensely respected in the industry. He appeared on the cover of last month’s Magic Magazine and has worked in magic for nearly six decades, including a period working as a consultant to Orson Wells.
“They look at him as a kind of father figure in the industry,” said Gulshen.
After the show, the audience is invited to a “meet and greet” with the performer.
“Afterwards, we’ll move you into another room and we have tables set up in there and we have a bar so you have the option to buy drinks or snacks,” said Gulshen.
During the meet and greet, the magician will mingle with guests and perform parts of their act up close and personal from table to table. Dickens theatre has a similar meet and greet after all of their shows, which run seven days a week during the summer.
“They can see some really close sleight of hand and get the complete experience,” said DuBois.
Wednesday Night Magic Shows will run once a week through Aug. 28 this summer at 7 p.m.
“It’s something that I think Ocean City needs and hopefully the town embraces it,” said Gulshen.
DuBois is equally optimistic and hopes that the show will also entice people to visit Dickens Parlour Theatre. While shows at the theatre run every day during the summer, Dickens is open on weekends year-round. For more information or to purchase tickets to Wednesday Night Magic Shows at the Holiday Inn, visit www.dptmagic.com or see the front desk at the hotel.