Inaugural Steamboat is Magic Festival to take place this weekend |

Inaugural Steamboat is Magic Festival to take place this weekend

This weekend, Australian magician Simon Coronel will be one of the featured acts at the Chief Theater's Steamboat is Magic Festival bringing his impossible acts that question the laws of reality.
Courtesy Photo

— Prepare to be tricked, fooled, astonished and silenced with disbelief this weekend.

The Chief Theater’s inaugural Steamboat is Magic Festival will come to to town Friday and Saturday, featuring a group of world-renowned, award-winning magicians and illusionists who have appeared on a variety of late night television shows, including the Penn and Teller “Fool Us” show this summer.

“Bringing several magicians like this together doesn’t happen outside of Los Angeles or Las Vegas or places like the Magic Castle,” said John Lovick, known by the stage name of “Handsome Jack.”

Back by popular demand, Jon Armstrong, Close Up Magician of the Year, and his “I Do Card Tricks and I’m Funny” show will open the festival from 7 to 8 p.m. Friday.

Charmingly named “Handsome Jack” the regular performer at the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood will perform a fresh twist on innovative sleight-of-hand tricks accompanied by his mystifying illusions from 9 to 10 p.m. Friday.

Appearing on late night television and known for his “One Man Variety Show” Karl Hein known as “Karl Koppertop” will perform from 3 to 4 p.m. on Saturday with a few special appearances from local favorites “We Are Not Clowns.”

On Saturday, Simon Coronel — an Australian illusionist known for his unique blend of comedy, theatre and impossible acts that question the law of reality — will bring his “Glitches in Reality” show from 7 to 8 p.m.

“To see all of these guys perform here, all in one place, will be unbelievable,” said Scott Parker, executive director of the Chief Theater. “It’s a nice fit for Steamboat, because this is such a magical place, and for us to bring magic into the mix, it’s just a really great fit.”

The inspiration behind this magic festival started with Charlie Williams, a magic fan who has worked in the entertainment industry in Chicago for a number of years. Now in retirement, he travels to Steamboat often and thought the town was the perfect venue for a festival such as this.

“I think there is something amazing about having your reality or perception of how the world works completely altered,” Armstrong said. “This is going to be different than what people would expect — there will be no rabbits coming out of top hats. It will entertain in ways no other art form can.”

Pursuing the life of a magician or illusionist requires an immense amount of precision and artistic discipline, as well as a personality that materializes on stage.

“In general, everyone reacts to magic in different ways,” Hein said. “I think it brings out the inner kid in all of us with that sense of curiosity and wonder.”

“I think a lot of people who like magic or are fans love that rush with the sense of the impossible playing out,” added Coronel.

Parker said he hopes the festival will eventually incorporate multiple venues, magic workshops for all ages and continue to grow bigger and better.

“Magic is an art form that transcends time, and I think we will see three generations all sitting next to each other,” Parker said. “This will be some of the best close-up magic in the world, and I think people are really going to be blown away by it.”

Patrons have the opportunity to buy an all festival “Gold Pass” for $60 online, which provides access to all Festival Events. Prices for individual shows vary. For more information about show times and ticket prices, visit

Schedule of the Steamboat is Magic Festival

Friday, Oct. 9

7 p.m. — Jon Armstrong: “I Do Card Tricks and I’m Funny”

Ages 10 and over recommended

Tickets are $10 or free with Gold Pass

9 p.m. — The Handsome Jack Experience

Ages 18 and over recommended

Tickets are $15 or free with Gold Pass

Saturday, Oct. 10

3 p.m. — Family Fun Magic and Juggling Show

Featuring Karl Koppertop and We’re Not Clowns, hosted by Jon Armstrong

All ages

Tickets are $10 or free with Gold Pass

5 p.m. — Gold Pass Close up Experience

Gold Member tickets required for close-up magic from headlining talents

7 p.m. — Simon Coronel “Glitches in Reality”

Ages 12 and over recommended

Tickets are $10 or free with Gold Pass

9 p.m. — Gala Show and Closing Party

Last show of the festival featuring each of the featured acts along with a meet and greet after

Tickets are $15 or free with Gold Pass

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

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