Durango's resident slight-of-hand master, Mysto the Magi, is one of our most recognizable local entertainers, performing regularly at schools and most every public affair where kids can be found. But over the next two weeks, the showman will be in his true element, taking center stage at the Durango Arts Center for Mysto's Magic Spectacular.
"Kids will like it, but it's not a kiddie show," Mysto said of the 90-minute extravaganza.
Mysto's magic is in the traditional vein, but he custom tailors time-tested illusions in his own style. He has two assistants, Erika Golightly and Jamie Pittman, who will be alternately folded into a 12-inch box, sawed into thirds, levitated on a broom and pierced with 10 silver swords.
The illusions - don't call them tricks - are familiar but unique.
"I love classic magic, so I do classic illusions with innovative routining. I build a lot of my own tricks, but if I buy them I modify them to fit my own show. It's fast-paced, fun and funny - nobody does magic like Mysto does magic," he said.
Mysto's been honing his craft for at least 30 years and worked on this latest show with his mentor and good friend, Las Vegas pro Jeff McBride, who also is Prince Rainier of Monaco's favorite house magician.
Mysto also knows the big time, having appeared in films with Brooke Shields and Diane Keaton and performed at the opening of the Wyndham Peaks hotel in Telluride with actor Keith Carradine. He also performed at the Telluride wedding of Christie Brinkley and real estate developer Ricky Taubman in 1995.
Of Mysto's five scheduled performances, Saturday's will include a twist the others don't.
Mysto stopped into the Herald offices Wednesday and wrote down his prediction of what he said will be the above-the-fold headline printed in Saturday's paper. Yours truly signed and dated his prediction, and I'm now in possession of that prediction in a locked box. On Saturday night, I'll join the magician onstage, we'll open the box and he assures us that his prediction within will match that day's newspaper, which will be held aloft by one of his assistants.
The show's finale is a trick Mysto calls "the fastest trick in the West," a version of Harry Houdini's famous Metamorphosis Trunk. He said he does illusion at his own signature pace, which is reflective of the entire evening.
"We do it about as fast as anyone in the world," he said. "It's one of those that a lot of people do but few do it well, and we do it very well."