(July 5, 2013) World-class magicians from around the country are taking the stage in Ocean City this summer.
Dickens Parlour Theatre in Millville, Del., has taken its acts to the resort to host Dickens on the Road, a magic-comedy show for all ages, Wednesday nights at the Holiday Inn on 67th Street. The shows are intimate, giving the audience plenty of chances to participate, General Manager at the Holiday Inn Jason Gulshen said.
“It’s truly a wow factor that you’re not expecting,” he said following the first performance at the Holiday Inn last week. “It’s comedy, but it’s high-level magic.”
The theater is able to pull magicians that have performed at venues in Las Vegas and Atlantic City thanks to its founder, attorney and renowned magician Rich Bloch.
Bloch opened Dickens Parlour Theatre in Delaware four years ago and the venue has won a slew of awards since, including Baltimore Magazine’s Best of the Beach, several Chamber of Commerce awards and a five star rating on Trip Advisor. Bloch and the theater have been featured in The Washington Post Magazine.
General Manager of Dickens Parlour Theatre Cheryl DeBois refers to Bloch as “the Godfather of magic.”
“He’s got an incredible reputation and a lot of awesome stories,” she said of the theater owner, who designed more than 80 magic effects and served as a magic advisor to Orson Welles.
The Delaware theater —described by DeBois as an “intimate Victorian parlor theater” — seats about 60 and is one of just two magic theaters in the country. It’s named after author Charles Dickens, who was an avid amateur magician.
“The best magicians in the world want to perform here because there’s really only one other magic theater in the country,” DeBois said. “We’re putting little Delaware on the map.”
Now, the same premier magicians will be in Ocean City Wednesday nights.
The magic shows are tailed by a meet and greet, where viewers can enjoy light fare and drinks while getting a more intimate performance from the night’s magician.
Gulshen said the aftershow sold him on bringing Dickens on the Road to the Holiday Inn.
“Every single person who left the theater walked by their cars and went to the parlor for the aftershow,” he said. “I thought that was impressive.”
Guests at last week’s inaugural Ocean City performance followed suit, he said, enjoying tableside tricks from comedy-magician Chris Capehart.
“It wasn’t your typical show you’d find at a birthday party,” said Amy Tingle, who took her eight-year-old son to the show. “We both really enjoyed it. It was definitely a show for all ages.”
For the price of a trip to the movies, the show offered a “nice change of pace” and gave her son, a magic aficionado, the chance to perform on stage.
Dickens on the Road would make a good rainy day activity or even a date night, she said. “It’s a good addition to Ocean City’s lineup.”
Dickens on the Road takes place every Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in the conference room — now converted into a theater — at the Holiday Inn on 67th Street. Magician and slapstick humorist Brian Staron will perform next week.
Tickets cost $20 for adults and $15 for children 12 and younger and can be reserved by calling 410-524-1600 or visit www.dptmagic.com. Check the Web site for a full lineup of summer magicians, now through Aug. 28.