Greg's appearance at this year's Browser's Magic Bash whet my interest enough that earlier this month we made the trek back to Niagara Falls.
We booked our tickets on a beautiful sunny Friday. (I was determined to break my curse of The Rainy Drive to or from Niagara Falls. Kidlet's Other Parent (KOP) drove this time though, so I don't know if I broke the curse or it just doesn't apply when KOP is present.)
Our schedules didn't allow us to make a day of Niagara Falls. We consulted with Google to find out how long the trek might take, and added an additional 30 minutes to the longest estimated time in an attempt to get us to the theatre by 7pm. If traffic was good, as it should be in nice weather, we'd be in town early enough to take a walk by the Falls and see a sight or two.
Tip: Arrive as early as you can to ensure good seating (the box office will let you know what time is best).
Apparently, because of the nice weather, everyone was out in their car on our path to the theatre. In spite of using all the HOV lanes available to us, traffic did not cooperate. We arrived in the parking lot at 7:22pm, for a 7:30pm show. (Thank goodness for a spacious parking lot!) I was frazzled and desperately had to use the bathroom.
Note to parents: If you can organize yourselves better than we did and get to the theatre with time to spare, there's a nice photo opportunity for your little ones next to lion statues by the front doors.
We piled into the building and the lovely staff at the box office had our tickets waiting for us, calmly showed us to the restrooms, and then showed us to our booth. We were no sooner seated when the lights went down and the show started.
Here are some random thoughts that came to mind while watching "Wild Magic":
- The show starts strong and keeps getting bigger and better.
- There's a smattering of mentalism, juggling, and close-up magic to keep things varied, but make no mistake, Greg's large illusions dominate the show!
- There were three large video screens making it easy to see the close-up parts from any seat in the house.
- The show was different enough from the last time we were there, that it felt new to us.
- It made me happy that some of my favourites from last time (like the one with water and fire) are still in the show.
- I was disappointed, that with our late arrival, we ended up sitting as far stage-right as you could. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the view from the seats was still remarkably good! (The house is deep and narrow and particularly good for viewing magic.)
- A good pair of theatre binoculars gives you a seat upgrade, no matter where you go!
- The show involved a sports car, an invisible deck, tigers, talented ladies, candles, fire, doves, a dog, tigers, kids, Chuck the Duck, a macaw, and a little bit of Sting. (On seeing the red macaw, Kidlet asked where the blue one was that we saw last time. This show makes quite a lasting impression!)
- Some of the illusions from 2012 are still in the show, but with very different presentations. It's fun to see how things get reimagined and repurposed!
- I was delighted to learn that Boomer, the Siberian tiger who battled cancer, was back in the show.
- The show is fabulously entertaining!
The show is just the tip of the iceberg.
After the show we queued up to have our photo taken with tiger Cashmere. Even though KOP and I were hamming it up for the camera by looking scared, there was nothing scary about the experience. The tiger trainer is right there keeping a careful watch at all times.
Part of the profits from the items in the magical gift shop, including the photo sales, are used to support a tiger sanctuary.
After the show (photo or not) you can queue up for an autograph from, a bring-your-own-camera photo with, and have a quick chat with Greg!
And that's not all!
If you want to experience the "ultimate magical experience" you can opt for the "VIP backstage tour package add-on." As part of this experience:
- We had our photo taken with Greg in front of one of the show props.
- Greg answered any question tossed his way. (Except for one.)
- We learned lots about tigers, spent some time with Rocky, and watched some video of Greg's tigers.
- The group of us got to stand on the stage and watch his blue macaw in action!
- We met Shira the white Siberian tiger. Here's a photo of her from 2012:
Hey all meet Shira our newest star .... An absolutely beautiful and lovely lil lady!!! pic.twitter.com/okv9RHCf— Johnny Ferrara (@Johnferrara00) August 16, 2012
- We were lucky and got to pet her! Have a look at a more recent photo of Shira!
- Shira was drinking from a baby bottle the whole time, and the staff were lovingly and patiently wiping up anything that spilled. Hats off to tiger trainer John Ferrara and to all of Greg's animal handlers. They clearly love the animals and love what they do!
- Greg entertained a wide variety of questions from the group.
Dare I say it? The post-show experience is almost as exciting as the show itself. We had an incredible evening!
Thank you to Alex, Kaitlin, Terry, John, Cooper, and everyone else involved in making it such a magical evening for my family. A special thank you to Greg, for his hospitality and for sharing his magical talent!
Last but not least, thank you to the lovely people who gave me this purrfect gift!