Magician and KC native Tom Burgoon expects Masters of Illusion Live audiences to leave feeling dazzled and amazed. "We'll have daring escapes, beautiful dancers, exotic animals, mystery, music, comedy and grand illusions," he promises. The world-touring, 25-act production, he adds, is "not just a magic show but a theatrical experience." See Burgoon and the others at 8 p.m. at the Midland (1228 Main, 816-283-9921). Tickets cost $28–$68. He answered a few questions by phone last week.
Filter: How did you get started with magic?
Burgoon: I saw my first magician on The Ed Sullivan Show as a kid, and it just stuck. I believe he was Fantasio, who wore short sleeves and worked with candles and canes. Short sleeves have become my trademark. I started out doing manipulation magic: balls, cards, etc. Then a friend told me about an open-mic night at a comedy club. I wanted to try to diversify my magic, and the four tricks I did that night killed. After that I never went back to regular magic.
What is your act like?
My act is magic and funny stuff. If you're not laughing, it's not working for me. Without tipping a bunch of stuff I do in the show, I do comedy — mad and fast, like a prop comic.
Do you use audience members?
Many of the performers in Masters of Illusion invite audience members to come onstage to assist and be a part of their illusions. For me, I get a kid and a woman up in the show to do two different bits. The volunteers are a comedy visual for the audience.