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Do you believe in magic?

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Do you believe in magic? (Photo courtesy of Ted Outerbridge)

Celebrated illusionists to present “OUTERBRIDGE: Clockwork Mysteries”

A time machine, levitation, magic, sleight of hand, disappearing and reappearing illusionists – all part of a day’s work for Ted and Marion Outerbridge, a couple hailed by the Montreal Gazette as “the most successful magicians in Canada.”

The award-winning illusionists are set to present their show “OUTERBRIDGE: Clockwork Mysteries” on Friday, October 27, at 7:30 p.m at Husson University’s Gracie Theatre.

The first-ever magic and illusion show to be presented at the Gracie, “Clockwork Mysteries” is a spellbinding theatrical presentation which will transport the audience to different eras, according to Ted Outerbridge.

“The theme of the show is time,” Outerbridge told me during a phone interview from his and Marion’s home near Montreal.

“We celebrate time. We race against time. We travel back in time. It’s all about finding those moments that the audience can relate to, and then celebrating it using magic.”

Billed as a high-energy magical performance for adult and family audiences alike, “OUTERBRIDGE: Clockwork Mysteries” is centered around an elaborate Victorian-era time machine, in which Marion Outerbridge is transported through different eras – from the Middle Ages to the swinging 1960s.

“When she reappears, she has a souvenir from the past,” Outerbridge explained. “Everyone has had the desire to go back in time to alter the past.”

I asked Outerbridge what part of history he would like to change if given the opportunity to travel back in time.

“I had this really bad haircut in high school and it was quite embarrassing,” he responded with a laugh. “Really, if I could go back and alter a few things to make the world a happier place, I would certainly do that.”

The Outerbridges have been working together since 1999, when Marion joined Ted’s show as a dancer and lead assistant. In 2006, the couple was married in Düsseldorf, Germany. Together, they perform an average of 100 shows around the globe each year.

Earlier this year, the Outerbridges brought their show to China.

“China is an incredible place and the culture is so fascinating,” Outerbridge said. “Audiences there loved our shows. They wanted me to perform in English because the Chinese have a great appreciation for Western culture.”

According to Ted, the Outerbridges were delighted to discover that most of the Chinese audience could speak at least a bit of English. However, because of cultural differences, it was necessary to modify certain pieces for the show.

“One of the big surprises came when I sat on the edge of the stage, which I do to perform one of the illusions in our show,” Outerbridge said.

“It completely broke the barrier, which is what I wanted to do. But it got a little out of control, because all of the kids in the audience got up and swarmed around me while I was sitting on the edge of the stage. That caused a bit of a problem.”

After altering the piece, they decided to try it in its original form at the next show, thinking it may have been an isolated incident.

“And the same thing happened!” Outerbridge said with a laugh. “During the show, I vanish from the stage and reappear in the audience. I had to make sure to get back to the stage quickly or else I would get mobbed by young fans. It was a surprise but it all worked out.”

“OUTERBRIDGE: Clockwork Mysteries” is designed to entertain and astound audiences of all ages, according to Outerbridge.

“There is grand illusion, there’s comedy magic and some intimate sleight of hand,” he said. “Five-year-olds will talk about it, and 105-year-olds will get something out it.

One of the illusionists’ most talked about segments is a piece involving intimate sleight of hand that features a spool of thread, an illusion dating back at least 400 years.

“This is a piece which we have modified in order to perform it with string which we covered with a UV coating. Everyone in the audience will be able to see it,” Outerbridge said.

Ted Outerbridge’s fascination with magic began at a very early age. By age 12, he was performing for neighborhood birthday parties. At age 18, he made front-page headlines with performances in Bermuda. 

“As a kid, I remember running around with a cape on my shoulders, pretending that I had magic powers,” Outerbridge said, before recalling the excitement he felt after performing his successful first magic trick.

“I performed this for my father. It was an illusion with three different lengths of rope. I created the illusion that they’re all the same length. I fooled him and I felt like a million bucks because I could do something that my dad couldn’t do.”

Outerbridge still performs this trick and will share the secret with a lucky member of the audience at the Gracie Theatre on Friday evening.

“I pass it on to one young person in the audience, but we have more of this trick available in case there are any other kids who want superpowers,” he said.

The Outerbridges’ performance at Gracie Theatre this Friday evening will mark the duo’s first-ever performance in Maine. They hope it will not be their last.

“We pride ourselves on establishing a relationship with a community and then coming back a few years later,” he said. “We’ve had kids who’ve seen our show, come back with their kids, and that’s pretty awesome.”

(Tickets for “OUTERBRIDGE: Clockwork Mysteries” are available at www.GracieTheatre.com or by calling the box office at 941-7888.) 

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