PAC magic

By ROBERT VILLANUEVA
The News Enterprise

August 4, 2008

ELIZABETHTOWN — A special magic event involving a prediction about the local community by a nationally known magician is just part of the Hardin County Schools Performing Arts Center's new season, which has the theme of magic.

"There's always magic involved in the performing arts," PAC Director Bart Lovins said. The director cited special effects magic that takes place backstage during a production and the magical effect a performance can have on an audience as examples.

The inspiration for the magic theme is the "Mike Super" event Oct. 17, which features the winner of "Phenomenon," an NBC reality show competition for magicians. In addition to his performance, Super will predict a newspaper headline for the morning of the day of his show.

A month in advance, Lovins said, Super will FedEx to Towne Mall a package with a cassette tape on which he predicts the headline of a local newspaper — which has yet to be announced — and will reimburse advance ticket buyers if he is wrong.

During the finale of his show, Super makes a sport utility vehicle disappear.

"Everyone in the audience will have a chance to win that SUV," Lovins said.

In the PAC lobby, before the "Mike Super" event and during intermission, Lexington magician John Shore will perform street magic.

The PAC officially announced details Friday of the "Mike Super" performance along with seven other events for which season tickets will go on sale beginning Aug. 15. The season is slated to kick off Sept. 18 with a production of "The Music Man," which runs through Sept. 21.

Four local barbershop-style a cappella singing groups will perform before the show and during intermission. "The Music Man," which opened on Broadway 50 years ago, includes a scene with a barbershop quartet that features members of New Horizon Chorus, one of those local groups.

Following "The Music Man" and "Mike Super" will be a production of "Rumpelstiltskin" beginning Nov. 14. The fairy tale, which concerns a character who can spin straw into gold, fits with the theme of magic, Lovins said.

This season's schedule incorporates events and activities designed to connect the artists and the audience.

For instance, the production of "Church Basement Ladies" on Nov. 17 is preceded by a dinner during which a local gospel group, Testify, will perform.

Lovins called "Church Basement Ladies" a "family-friendly musical" that's "uplifting."

"We're really hoping we can bring a lot of church groups in for this," he said.

Prior to the first performance of the holiday favorite "The Nutcracker" on Dec. 20, "Clara's Tea Party" offers "a catered affair for the young."

The event takes place at noon and includes peanut butter sandwiches with the crusts cut off, chocolates and gift bags, not to mention a chance to meet the star of "The Nutcracker."

"It's just a really wonderful way to celebrate the holidays with the young ones," Lovins said.

"Celtic Crossroads," a performance of authentic Irish folk music on March 13, will be followed by an "afterglow" to which the audience is invited, Lovins said.

The afterglow — a chance to wind down, sing songs and share a meal — will take place at Beef O'Brady's restaurant, during which the public can meet the performers of "Celtic Crossroads."

The Irish performers incorporate a variety of musical instruments including the harp, panpipe and banjo.

"You really see the roots of Kentucky bluegrass in what they do," Lovins said.

The March 20 production of "Magic Tree House" is this year's production tied to literature. It is based on a series of books, and a tree — similar to an angel tree — will be set up at Barnes & Noble Booksellers for children who attend the student performance to write a wish for a particular book in the series.

The "Magic Tree House" production March 20 concludes the PAC season and winners of an online silent auction will be announced during intermission.

The highlight of the numerous items up for bid will be a tree house.

"It's about fun. It's about family," Lovins said. "That's what this season's about."

IF YOU GO
Tickets for Hardin County Schools Performing Arts Center's new season of eight events go on sale Aug. 15. For information, visit www.thepac.net or call 769-8837.

Robert Villanueva can be reached at (270) 505-1743, or at rvillanueva@thenewsenterprise.com.

This story, written by Robert Villanueva , was provided to One Knox courtesy of The News Enterprise. Read more stories from The News Enterprise at www.thenewsenterprise.com.