Tommy Wind Theater Hosts ‘Naked Magicians’ and Possibly a Ghost
When Charles Bach is asked now he made the Grand Jeté from a ballet dancer with the prestigious Joffrey Ballet Company to traveling magician, then on to show producer, he credits his first career move to a knee injury and the city of Las Vegas.
“I had a knee injury while dancing ballet. I thought I would rest the knee for six months then go back to ballet. I auditioned for a show in Vegas called Caesars Magical Empire. It was a really great opportunity. The show was like 80 million dollars’ worth of the Magic Castle. You took an elevator down to underground catacombs where there was close up magic and stage magic. There was dinner theater magic, too.”
The knee did get better but, rather than go back to ballet, Bach stayed in Vegas. After the magic bug first bit him as a young boy when his uncle showed him a card trick, Bach says he was left with an itch that never went away. He was further influenced by the multi-Emmy Award nominee and magic icon of the 70s, Doug Henning. “He was my inspiration,” says Bach. “He had long hair. He was really fun and playful. His magic was full of joy and he worked with the audience.”
Bach spent the next decade or so performing on ocean cruise lines and touring the world. It would seem only fitting that while standing naked in the shower on a ship he had an epiphany about exposing the props used in magic shows to the public. “I’d been doing these big illusion shows all these years. Face it, we’re all skeptical. I thought that maybe people would like to examine the props up close and personal before the show.”
According to Bach, the Naked Magicians show he then developed was a big hit in Hollywood and has been running at corporate and private events since 2006. “People just love being able to touch the props. They get to see that the show isn’t about gimmicks. It’s about real sleight of hand artistry. I came up with the idea to make it Vegas-y (sic) and added the strip poker with the hostess.”
A big challenge for the producer was finding the right cast for his innovative show. “The magicians I wanted had to have a style of their own or original magic plus the personality to be intimate with the audience. It’s difficult to find personality as well as pure sleight of hand. Very few magicians in the world can do what I ask them to do,” Bach said with a laugh. “Play strip poker willingly.”
The Naked Magicians show, featuring magicians Andrew Goldenhersh, Chris James, Jason Baney, and Improv performer and comedian Emily Lauren Sanders as the cocktail waitress, is booked for a limited engagement at the Tommy Wind Theater, October 17th through October 31st. The upscale nightclub-style theater is located at 3765 Las Vegas Blvd. While the magicians in truth don’t run around the stage naked, the sassy, somewhat tawdry waitress (Sanders) adds a touch of burlesque throughout the show.
“I’m continuing to develop the show,” says Bach. “I’m really into the art scene. I get inspiration for magic from art galleries, dance revues, concerts and plays. I have folders and folders of ideas. It’s crazy but it’s like a magic filter. I would love to have a regular show running in town in a nice nightclub setting.”
As recently as this week, according to Bach, magician Chris James has twice felt a tap on his shoulder while alone on the Tommy Wind stage during the first segment of the show. “There is really something going on in our theater,” claims Bach. “Chris kept asking us if we were messing with him. None of us were.
“Finally, one of the stage techs said the theater was once a nightclub and a young girl actually fell (to her death) from the balcony. The tech says she’s always around and always taps people on the left shoulder.”
While Bach promises there will be special Halloween tricks, treats and candy at the final show on October 31 (aka All Hollow’s Eve) here are some sage words of advice to those attending: If someone should tap you on your left shoulder…please don’t let them in. –Christine L. McKellar
Showtimes are at 4 p.m. Tickets are priced at $33 dollars and $42 for VIP seats (includes autographed photo and your own close-up magic trick) and can be purchased online at THE NAKED MAGICIANS or call 702-776-8888. ***For audiences 18 years and older.***