'Magic From Around the World' show comes to heritage center
KATIE WARGO/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS While Alex Blasko of Coaldale, right, displays two rings, which were linked by Lehigh Valley professional magician Tom Yurasits, Marissa Bonetsky, left, of Lansford does her best to separate three other rings during Yurasits' recent "Magic From Around the World" show at the Summit Hill Heritage Center. The show celebrated the summer reading program at the Panther Valley Library. The free event was underwritten by a grant from Carbon County.
A torrential downpour did not delay the Summit Hill Heritage Center's magical excursion around the world, hosted by Lehigh Valley master magician Tom Yurasits, who presented a program of magical wonders from various countries to help celebrate Panther Valley Library's Reading Program.
The free magic show was enjoyed by parents and children from the area and was sponsored by funding from a grant from Carbon County, collected from hotel taxes in the county.
"This is a new show called 'Magic From Around the World'," Yurasits said before the program. "Much of the magic is original and the goal is to expose children and families to different countries and get them interested in other cultures."
Yurasits has been performing and creating magic for the last 25 years. He has performed in several countries and companies and has consulted for several television shows including A&E's "Mindfreak" program.
Yurasits' whirlwind trip around the world included stops in several countries with rich magical histories including Egypt, China, India and France. Each stop was introduced with an appropriate prop, which he produced from a travel trunk on stage. The segment on Egypt was introduced with a pyramid he produced and placed on a side table. After a brief sharing about the country, Yurasits performed some feats of magic from that country.
One of those tricks showcased the oldest feat in magic, the Cups and Balls, which is recorded in hieroglyphics on the walls of tombs in Egypt. Yurasits also showed a mummy in a sarcophagus which disappeared and reappeared in a packing crate.
From there the show traveled to China, where Yurasits showcased the classic Chinese Linking Rings with the help of Marissa Bonetsky of Lansford and Alex Blasko of Coaldale. He linked and unlinked the rings while the children assisted him in showing the audience they really were linked and solid. He said that China introduced many effects into magic, including the rings.
A trip to England included a story about a king and queen, their castle, a dragon and some brave knights, all produced from some tubes that appeared empty. From there a short jaunt across the English Channel brought the audience to France. To introduce the country that produced the Father of Modern Magic Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, Yurasits produced a painting of the Eiffel Tower, from which he extracted a model of the famous landmark.
The trip continued with stops in Italy, Africa and India before winding up home in the USA, where Yurasits concluded the show by producing a rabbit from a set of patriotic colored tubes, after which he let the children meet and pet his little friend.
Following the show, children enjoyed hot dogs and refreshments compliments of the Heritage Center.
The Summit Hill Heritage Center is a 501c3 nonprofit service organization whose mission is to enrich the lives and communities of the Panther Valley and surrounding areas through entertainment, educational and social events, with its funds going to maintain and administer the building to support organizations like the food pantry, Boy Scouts and Quilting Guild.
All donations and memberships are tax deductible contributions. For more information, call (570) 645-9133 or (570) 645-9160 or visit www.summithillheritagecenter.com.