PIGEON FORGE, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2016–- The “Magic Beyond Belief™” Show in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., starring nationally known magician Darren Romeo, “The Voice of Magic,” hosted a special magical guest recently at The Smoky Mountain Opry™ Theater. Gay Blackstone of Los Angeles, the widow and former magic assistant of the late stage magician and illusionist, Harry Blackstone, Jr., was in attendance to see what her late husband inspired.
Romeo has long been a fan of the late famous illusionist Harry Blackstone Jr., and his wife. Blackstone was Romeo’s inspiration for entering the profession after he received a magic kit for Christmas at the age of 9. At age 11 Romeo attended one of Blackstone’s shows, where he was enamored watching the Blackstones’ perform. This was when he first saw Blackstone’s signature piece, “The Floating Light Bulb Illusion.” “Blackstone was the first magician I ever saw,” said Romeo. “He took a lighted bulb from a lamp and floated it, still glowing, through a small hoop,” Romeo said. “He then threw the light bulb from the stage, and it floated out over the heads of the audience.
“I was a kid watching my idol,” Romeo said. “I wanted to meet him, so I wrote him a note on the back of my business card, ‘I am 11 years old. I love magic. Can I please see you after the show?” The Blackstones did indeed meet him after the show and gave him their doves from the performance that day.
Upon Blackstone’s death, Gay Blackstone found Romeo’s business card in her husband’s wallet. “Out of the thousands of people who gave Harry Blackstone their business card, Darren’s was the one that was in his wallet when he died,” Blackstone stated. “That is the magic of life that you cannot explain.”
Romeo and Gay Blackstone became friends. Romeo says they came close to having a show that was “Blackstone presents Darren Romeo,” but then Siegfried and Roy entered Romeo’s life. Romeo said, “So before my Las Vegas premiere at the Mirage, I said to Gay, ‘Siegfried and Roy and I have been in your lives and Harry’s. Harry was one of the most influential people in my life. Could I have the honor of performing the ‘Floating Light Bulb illusion?’”
Blackstone said, “I discussed it with my daughter, and my daughter said, ‘Dad would have liked it to continue with Darren.’ We decided it must be someone who has great respect for his legacy. We said this is a young magician who is going to do magic and make it magical, so we agreed to let him have the rights to perform the illusion.” Romeo first performed the “Floating Light Bulb Illusion” five years after Blackstone died.
“The first time Gay saw me perform was at the Magic Castle in Hollywood,” Romeo said. “It was a very emotional thing for me.”
Blackstone said, “Darren’s premier of the lightbulb illusion was bittersweet and glorious. I never wanted to see the illusion leave the world of magic.”
Today Romeo carries on Harry Blackstone Jr.’s legacy by performing his famous “Floating Light Bulb Illusion” at The Smoky Mountain Opry™ Theater. He is the only magician in the world granted permission from the Blackstone family to perform the illusion and full tribute. It is one of only three pieces of magic that is protected and controlled.
Blackstone said, “Harry’s legacy continues at the lovely Smoky Mountain Opry Theater in Pigeon Forge. The legacy is continuing. I am proud to be a part of it. As the magic goes on, the legacy goes on. There is a lot of magic in the world but very few miracles. The ‘Floating Light Bulb Illusion’ is a miracle.”
As the saying goes, the show must go on, and it does. Romeo, a magician and a singer, stars in his critically acclaimed full-scale production show “Magic Beyond Belief™” starring Darren Romeo that features exotic animals including: a white Bengal tiger, stunning large-scale original illusions, vocal performances, celebrity impersonations, mind-boggling special effects, comedy, and a huge tribute to the magicians who inspired him the most, Harry Blackstone Jr. and Siegfried and Roy.
Romeo appears six days-a-week March through October at The Smoky Mountain Opry™ Theater. Romeo’s “Magic Beyond Belief™” is known for his combination of live singing with the art of magic and illusion for a one-of-a-kind magical performance.
Magician Romeo said, “Magic is my passion, and The Smoky Mountain Opry is one of the most beautiful theaters I’ve ever seen. I am able to present the biggest and best version of my show to date. It is my joy to honor and celebrate Blackstone’s legacy as I present the ‘Floating Light Bulb Illusion.”
One of the most awarded magicians in the history of magic, Romeo has garnered an extensive list of accolades including:
“Magician of the Year” from The Magic Castle, The Academy of Magical Arts, Inc., “Show of the Year” (2 years in a row) from the Branson Critic Association, and the “Milbourne Christopher Award for Notable Contributions to the Art of Magic” from The Society of American Magicians (SAM).
In addition to all of the large illusions people would expect to see on stage from someone with the very select rights to perform Blackstone’s legacy illusion and Siegfried & Roy’s protégé, Romeo also performs close-up magic and sleight of hand tricks in the show. Two large video screens complement the show as well as music, dancers, elaborate sets and costumes and state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems.
The New York Daily News called Romeo’s show “Irresistible” and the Las Vegas Review-Journal said it was “the most unique and compelling show to hit the strip in many years.” While Entertainment Today said his show was “Extraordinary. Fantastic!”
Romeo is a highest ranking member of the Inner Magic Circle (MIMC), a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM) and the Society of American Magicians (SAM). Romeo is also a lifetime member of the International Magicians Society (IMS), who awarded him with a “Lifetime Achievement Award.”
“Magic Beyond Belief™” starring Darren Romeo is performed in the afternoon matinee slot at The Smoky Mountain Opry™ Theater at 3:00 p.m. every day except Wednesday. Tickets for the show are $29.95, plus tax each and children 3 to 11 are only $9.95 plus tax. Children under 3 years old are free. The theater is located at 2046 Parkway in Pigeon Forge. For more information, call the theater’s box office (865) 428-7469 or 1-800-768-1170 or visit www.pigeonforgemagic.com .
The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group, one of the largest show production companies in the southeast, also owns and produces four other major shows in the Smoky Mountain area including “The Comedy Barn®”, “The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud™,” “The Smoky Mountain Opry™” Show, and “The Smith Morning Variety Show.” The company also owns Happy Days restaurant and Chef’s Catering.
Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment offers a combination show deal when guests buy a ticket to the “Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud™” for $54.95 plus tax they can buy a ticket to “Magic Beyond Belief™” starring Darren Romeo for only $19.95 plus tax for an adult ticket. With this combo deal, children are free to the “Magic Beyond Belief™” show starring Darren Romeo (after guests have bought a child’s ticket to the “Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud™”). +++