NEW YORK (AP) — They work as a pair of critically-acclaimed magicians popular in Australia. But that is not why audiences are flocking to their show.
They have nothing up their sleeves. In fact they have no sleeves. For that matter, they also have no pants, no underwear, no socks.
The idea came to the two guys, remarkably, without alcohol being involved: They decided to create a new kind of show that mixed stripping and illusion. The guys from down under — show everything…down under.
That’s right, a completely naked magic show.
“It’s kind of crazy because magic is the second-oldest profession ever and we couldn’t believe that no one had combined the two things that everyone loves — magic and nudity,” said Christopher Wayne. “You know what? We weren’t drunk when we came up with this.”
Wayne and his co-creator and co-star Mike Tyler have successfully toured Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. Next month, they plan to tour the U.S.
“We promise that ‘The Naked Magic Show’ will be one of the most amazing magic shows you’ll ever see,” said Tyler by phone from Brisbane. “We promise it’ll be one the funniest comedy shows you’ll ever see. And we do promise full-frontal illusion.”
The North America tour kicks off April 21 in Baltimore. It then goes to Rhode Island; Connecticut; Washington, D.C.; Wisconsin; Minnesota; Illinois; Michigan; Indiana; Pennsylvania; New York; Arizona; Colorado; Massachusetts; Oregon; Washington; Georgia; Iowa; Florida; North Carolina; and Kentucky, with several stops in Canada.
Alas, no shows yet planned for Los Angeles.
Wayne, 31, who had his own TV series, “More Than Magic,” and Tyler, also 31, a former competitive swimmer and magician at corporate get-togethers, have been friends for years.
After the release of the Channing Tatum male-stripper film, “Magic Mike,” they noticed members of their audience getting a little feisty, asking things like “How big is your magic wand?” and “Can you make my clothes disappear?”
“So we got to thinking, ‘What about if we could create the world’s first naughty magic show?'” said Tyler. “Good magicians don’t need sleeves and great magicians don’t need pants.”
A tour last year included three weeks in America, with stops in Massachusetts and Florida. It was a test to see if Yanks outside Las Vegas, where nudity and magic have been merged before, were ready for this level of sharing.
“We weren’t sure when we went over how America would take this show,” said Wayne. “In our head, we thought you guys might be a bit more conservative or you might not get our Aussie brand of humor. But it just absolutely exploded over there.”
The pair said they spent the better part of a year making sure both parts of the act were balanced perfectly — the magic was good and the eye candy was buff.
“We spent so much time making sure it was legitimately the funniest show that we could make, and we feel like we’ve kind of caught some lightning in a bottle, thanks to a lot of hard work,” Wayne said.
“And then we wanted to make sure that we had something nice for the audience to look at so we both dedicated every spare moment of every day to working out.”
They’ve somehow gotten comfortable slowly stripping in front of fans. The hardest part was the first time they got into their birthday suits together.
“We were best mates before we started doing the show and the moment had come where we had to get naked in front of each other,” said Tyler. “Once we got naked in front of each other, it’s surprisingly easy to get naked in front of an audience that’s clapping and cheering and having a great time.”
And, yes, their parents have seen the show. It was no big deal. “They saw us naked when we were kids anyway,” said Tyler, laughing.
For more about the show and the tour, click here.
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