TruTV star Michael Carbonaro brings magic to Wilkes-Barre’s F.M. Kirby Center
WILKES-BARRE — During Michael Carbonaro’s hidden camera show “The Carbonaro Effect,” the magician makes objects disappear and reappear in front of an audience unaware of his occupation — at his live shows, Carbonaro admitted the crowd has “kind of got my number,” but he promised “Carbonaro-type” turns to keep audiences on their toes.
On Dec. 16, Carbonaro will perform at Wilkes-Barre’s F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts as part of the eponymous “Michael Carbonaro Live!” tour. Carbonaro has performed live since he was 13, but this tour marks the first time his show has hit the road.
“Magic is just so wonderful in front of a live audience and this show is a chance to get out there,” Carbonaro said. “When I’m on the stage and performing live — I love the TV show and it’s brought such great fans — but there’s just nothing like performing live. I can’t wait.”
Carbonaro said he’s excited to meet fans of his television show and work them into his on-stage acts. It’s those up-close and personal experiences that drew the Long Island, N.Y. native to magic in the first place.
When Carbonaro was young, he was attracted to movie makeup and effects. He wanted to be a special effects artist and visited a local magic shop to stock up on supplies. While there, he noticed the shop’s proprietors performing tricks and was drawn to the showmanship, personal interaction and appreciation a magic trick provided over his special effects passion.
“Magic is sort of like special effects live,” Carbonaro said.
The young magician resolved to be the next David Copperfield, so he enrolled at New York University and studied stage performance.
“A lot of times people ask me, ‘What tip would you give to an aspiring magician,’ and that’s exactly what I tell them,” Carbonaro said. “Take as much training in the theater and performing arts as you can outside of magic — not just learning new magic tricks and how these tricks work, but how to entertain a crowd, how to perform, how to act, how to emote and present yourself on stage.”
The magician will have a number of chances to use his performing arts training over the next few months. Carbonaro’s live tour has him on the road through March, and he said he’s excited to meet fans of his show — especially the families who watch together.
“It’s like a huge party and it’s a huge family audience that comes to watch the show,” Carbonaro said. “I get people involved with audience participation, I bring them on stage to help out, I go out into the audience to perform some magic.”
For fans of “The Carbonaro Effect” who want to see the star live — or become part of his show — tickets are still available for the traveling magic show that started in a magic shop.
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLArts
IF YOU GO
Who: Michael Carbonaro
What: An evening of magic and illusions
When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16; doors open at 6 p.m.
Where: F.M. Kirby Center, 71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre
How much: $39.50 or $150 for VIP meet and greet. Tickets are available at kirbycenter.org, the venue’s on-site box office or 570-826-1100