It's no illusion: Radatz captivates audiences with his magic touch

Though seeing is believing, there are times even the eyes can be fooled. One of those times will be at the Elks Theatre and Performing Arts Center, 117 E. Gurley St., when magician Aaron Radatz performs at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22. Radatz will perform many different types of magic, dazzling audiences in one of the few art forms that translates across cultures.

Radatz started performing magic at 6 years old, beginning with a magic set he received from his grandmother for Christmas. But when he saw one of the David Copperfield television specials, he realized the potential for it as a career, he said.

The show has been rewarding from the standpoint of being able to go to many different countries and meet different types of people, Radatz said. Magic as an art form is something that appeals to all cultures and nationalities, he said.

"Very few art forms can do that, especially live performance art," he said. "It's really just magic and music ... and dance."

He also enjoys working with the audience because magicians heavily rely on getting people of various age groups on stage to either verify that what the audience is seeing is accurate or to borrow objects, Radatz added. Since he doesn't know in advance the audience for every show, each show is different and interesting, he said.

Tickets are $25 for general admission, $22 for seniors or $30 for opera box seats and can be purchased online at www.prescottelkstheater.com, by calling 928-777-1370 or at the box office one hour before the performance.

Though Radatz doesn't have any specific illusions or tricks that he enjoys more than others, the larger stage illusions, especially the ones he created, are his favorite style, he said.

"When you're able to bring something fresh, those are my favorite," he said. "You're offering the guests something that comes from your own creativity."

The audience will see a large variety of different types of magic, Radatz said. The show will include everything from close-up magic to sleight-of-hand to the larger stage illusions as well as audience participation, he said. There's also going to be a lot of comedy, Radatz added. Comedy is something his mentors taught him, he said, noting that no matter how grand or mysterious things get in a show, people love to laugh and it needs to be a part of the show.

Many in the audience have probably never seen a magic show in person either, rather, they've seen it on television, a medium that wasn't around when magic was established, Radatz said.

"Television didn't exist and it (magic) was never designed to be done on television and audiences being as sophisticated today as they are, understanding computer-generated images and those types of things, it's easy to write off what you're seeing as 'oh, that's just someone being erased out of a box digitally and placed over here,'" he said. "You see it live, you realize all that is not true, that doesn't apply. Most of us, what we do on television, are able to do it in person."

By Jason Wheeler. Follow reporter Jason Wheeler on Twitter @PrescottWheels. Reach him at 928-445-3333, ext. 2037, or at 928-642-5277.