Destiny, wonder and magic with Outerbridge

Award-winning illusionist makes his Whistler debut Saturday

Some people seem to have a destiny, and they know from an early age what they're meant to do with their lives. For Ted Outerbridge, that destiny is magic and illusions.

The Montreal-based performer started his career in magic at age 12, performing at birthday parties in his neighbourhood. His stage name at the time was "Magic Ted" and he earned $5 a show.

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Though many people told him over the years that he had to get a "real job," Outerbridge said he had a dream to tour across Canada with magic. He honed his skills as an illusionist, and studied marketing in college to help make it a reality, and over the past 25 years he's been living his dream as a professional magician.

"I'm 45 and I'm doing what I was doing when I was 7," Outerbridge said during a recent phone interview. "I always wanted to do this."

Outerbridge and his wife and on-stage partner Marion have toured across Canada and Europe to rave reviews, but have yet to do a show in Whistler. That is, until now. People of all ages are invited to Millennium Place on Saturday (Feb. 28) to experience the wonder and laughter of the Outerbridges' show, Magical Moments in Time.

"We have lots of crazy illusions to share with Whistler," he said.

The theme of the show is time, with Ted and Marion using their time machine to transport themselves and the audience to medieval times, to the early 1900s, the psychedelic '60s and even as recently as last year. While the show includes illusions such as vanishing and reappearing, levitation and the crowd-pleasing trick of sawing someone in half, Outerbridge has been praised for his innovative style and unique approach to magic.

"It's unique creations or variations of illusions," he said. "It's not something people have seen before."

Outerbridge said he and Marion develop the show from personal experiences, adding personality and narrative to the illusions. Instead of simply having Marion come out on stage and float in the air, the show's levitation scene is based on a romantic night of dinner and dancing the couple shared on their honeymoon two years ago. Marion dances the tango while she's levitating.

"We try to draw our inspiration not from a magic catalogue but from our day-to-day lives," he said. "The magic comes from our hearts. It's tied into our lives."

The family-oriented show also includes audience participation and comedy. Outerbridge said he ramps up the kitsch in a scene where he plays a psychic game show host, and there's a scene that involves an audience member's shoe. Zelda the Psychic Chicken, who gets blasted out of a "chicken cannon," contributes to the hilarity.

Magical Moments in Time has played to countless standing ovations and sold-out theatres and various TV and radio audiences, earning several awards and nominations such as the recent nomination for Touring Artist of the Year.

Experience the magic with Ted and Marion Outerbridge at Millennium Place on Saturday (Feb. 28) at 8 p.m. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster for $22 for adults, $19 for students and seniors and $16 for Whistler Arts Council members.

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