“Phantasm” is getting bigger.
Silverwood Theme Park magician Nick Norton, along with his wife and assistant, Amanda Norton, and Isaiah Daniels will take over the stage at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox on Wednesday. When they do, they’ll expand on the storyline that they’ve created during their 30-minute shows at Silverwood.
“I decided magic should be done differently,” Nick Norton said. “Magic should be like a story, more like a play with illusions to enhance and tell the story.”
The storyline the Nortons created centers on Dr. Cosmos, played by Daniels (although for the first couple years, it was video of Norton). The Nortons are still Nick and Amanda, but they’re from the early 1900s. They work for Cosmos, who Nick Norton describes as an oracle.
He’s also a time traveler and scientist who has worked with some of the great science and engineering minds – Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford. But Cosmos realizes that science doesn’t answer all the questions of how and why things work.
“He needed us to help him find the place between science and magic,” Norton said.
At Silverwood, the magic shows have taken the Nortons throughout Cosmos’ house to do different experiments, and this year they introduced a time-travel element. Now at the Fox, the audience will learn how the two met Dr. Cosmos, traveling back in time to 1908.
“Now the audience can see how it all came to be, how did we meet Dr. Cosmos, what’s our role in his universe,” Norton said.
“He’s always been fascinated by magic, so he chose us to be his assistants,” Norton said. They’ll travel with him through time to present day, then during the finale into the future.
The Nortons are excited about the opportunities that the larger theater and longer show give them.
“We can do that with the same amazing illusions we do at the park, but now we can take you on a much longer ride, which I’m really excited about,” Norton said.
The Fox show will have new material, as well as older pieces that have been reworked to include the Dr. Cosmos storyline.
“These older illusions that we’ve done, we’ll now get to interject Dr. Cosmos and some dialogue and time and place, so the music changes to that era, the costumes change to that era, but it’s still us in these different times going forward,” Norton said.
“It brings new life to the illusions,” Amanda Norton said.
And although the Fox holds a much bigger audience, Nick Norton thinks the show may be even more intimate than their Silverwood shows. That’s thanks in part to the IMAG, or image magnification, technology at the Fox.
“Normally some of these smaller tricks that I could only perform for a certain section of the audience preshow, or floating rows, which people want to see up close, now it’s going to be blown up on a big screen,” Norton said. “It actually brings you in closer.”
The Nortons promise the show at the Fox will have something for everyone. It’s a family show with humor that will play to all ages, plus a storyline that will pull on heartstrings.
“The comedy is just as important as the magic, and the storytelling is just as important as the music and the lighting,” Norton said.
And, for superfans who’ve seen the Silverwood show many times, they’re going to see something new, too. There will be illusions the Silverwood theater can’t hold, including one during the show’s opening.
“Amanda and I turn into these ghosts, these long giant silks, and get to fly out over the audience,” he said. It’s an illusion they used when they helped produce the magic for the Spokane Symphony’s “Harry Potter” concerts a year ago. “It just looked beautiful. It took everybody’s breath away.”
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