A new act is coming to town June 20-26 at the Dickens Parlour Theatre in Millville. World-renowned magician Eric Buss will perform nightly at 7 p.m., entertaining audiences with pogo sticks, frozen turkeys and numerous other unconventional props.
Rich Bloch, owner of the theater and a world-famous magician in his own right, first told long-time friend Buss about the place he was opening a little over a year ago.
“This timing just worked out to both of our benefits,” said Buss, alluding to his own recent return from Afghanistan.
After a surprise invitation in May, Buss had joined a large team of celebrity chefs and entertainers on a mission to entertain U.S. troops in Afghanistan, with the goal of bringing them a big thank-you and a little taste of home. The chefs prepared Cajun meals, and the entertainers put on a five-hour show.
“We got to look at F-16 fighter jets and hold the M-16 guns. They showed us around, and we were like little kids in a candy store!” Buss excitedly recalled. In a more serious tone, he added, “The emotions and the backdrop were not pretty. It was clearly a warzone, but they educated us on what they did, and we were able to entertain them for a few hours.”
Each team member’s life was changed by what they saw and who they met, according to Buss.
“We were so lucky to fly in, do a show and fly out, but they actually live there and work 12 hours a day, every day, in a warzone.”
Originally from Tucson, Ariz., Buss now resides in Los Angeles when he is not on one of five different continents, performing his routine. He has been in the business of magic for 16 years, and his act isn’t likely to vanish anytime soon.
Buss’ talent has earned him wide recognition, including being named Magician of the Year by the International Brotherhood of Magicians and an appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman.”
Known best for his ingenuity in combining comedy with magic, Buss draws much of his inspiration from a young Steve Martin and Howie Mandel. High energy on stage and goofy props and toys create an atmosphere of fun while he performs.
“Most of what I do is original,” said Buss. “I either invent it myself or build it in my garage.”
Buss avoids doing classic tricks to make room for “zanier” acts. He doesn’t take himself seriously, and he hopes that his audience will follow suit.
The performance offers an opportunity for a family outing or date night. Tickets cost $18 for adults and $12 for children, and reservations are suggested. For more information or to make a reservation, call (302) 829-1071 or visit www.dptmagic.com.