Magic + Ventriloquists + Balloons = Fun for the Whole Family

We had never taken the kids to a magic show before we wandered into Mall 205 to attend the All American Magic Show. They’ve watched some magic tricks online and had a friend at school who would often do magic, but they had never seen an actual show. They were pretty excited and also kind of skeptical — but also really excited. The 11-year-old chose to sit up close on the mats up front, and the 9-year-old stayed in the seats with his dad and me. Lots of kids piled in up front on two large mats right in front of the stage where they could see well and also maybe, just maybe, get called on to be part of the show.

There are two main performers, ventriloquist Scott Davis and Magician Mark Benthimer. They are both assisted by ladies in sparkly get-ups and bright lipstick who assist in tricks, climb into boxes and engage with the audience. There are a lot of costume changes and it is very much a theatrical show with lights, sound effects, and even a fog machine.

Scott opens the show with some animal (all stuffed/toy animals) tricks and really gets the kids engaged. He’s very playful and there were a good amount of what I would deem squeals of delight from the kids up front. You could see the kids enthralled in the tricks, the ventriloquist acts, and also the balloon animals. Adults and kids were laughing throughout, actually.

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Mark Benthimer does magic. Magic magic where people disappear into boxes or their bodies are split into sections and slid around or people are levitating. It’s very specific and serious in tone but in a way that keeps the kids (and audience) really enthralled. There is an intermission (with more costume changes!) and then we see the playful Scott and his audience interaction again and then the more focused magic of Mark. It’s cool. Magic is cool. 

Let’s hear from the kids, though:

Alvah: It is amazing — to put it in three words. To put it in more words, it’s still amazing. Well, the magic was really interesting, impressive, just, well, shocking. I was shocked at the trick — I saw someone put someone to sleep — they did a wave of their hands and the person fell asleep — they have telekinesis powers … sorcerers.

It was really impressive. I also saw a trick where somebody got in a box and the magician pulled half the box aside and you could see their face and top half but in the other one you could see their legs. Mind blowing.

Heywood 
It was good. I liked it. There was a bird and a skunk and a snake and there was a guy — well the guy has the bird and the skunk and the snake (Scott)

I got to hold a sword (second sword I ever held). Someone got in a box and they put a bunch of swords in the box. It was almost that classic thing but it was a small box but a person vanished into it. Someone got pushed in half, someone floated, you know, classic magic stuff. 

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I hear the next one is going to be a Halloween one. I think you should go watch it, it’s fun.

Heywood says goodbye, I’m leaving to another dimension.”

Now for tips and details:

  • Parking: you can park in front of the Target or behind the Bed Bath & Beyond in the rear lot. The shop is inside the mall which has sort of nondescript mall entrances.
  • Get there early. We were 15 minutes early and there was already a line.
  • Along the above lines, pre-buy your tickets. It was packed in there. 
  • The bathrooms are the basic mall bathrooms and they are not that close so I suggest doing that early. There is an intermission with time to make it to the bathrooms.
  • The show is long, two hours. They sell snacks and beverages so you can get popcorn, cotton candy, sodas and waters. 
  • If a fog machine bothers anyone in your group, sit further back.
  • Speaking of seating, here is the set-up. There is a mat up front for kids, and it fits maybe 20-25 kids. Beyond that are chairs, chairs with wheels. One thing that will happen is that your chairs will roll around. We were upfront in the VIP section so I actually didn’t check the rest of the seats for rolling chairs or not. It’s not a bad thing, just a thing to note.
  • They do ask for volunteers, so it might be good to let your kids know that they might be invited on stage, however, not every kid can get a turn.

The show itself is great. It’s magic. It’s ventriloquism, balloon animals and more magic. The next show is October 19 and they did mention a Halloween themes . . . I don’t know, magic + spooky Halloween themes sounds pretty great. Tickets are $10 for 12 and under and $16 for general admission, you can buy them here

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