Magician Mike Super predicts tomorrow’s headlines in Aspen
IF YOU GO …
Who: Mike Super
Where: Wheeler Opera House
When: Saturday, Dec. 22, 4:30 & 7:30 p.m.
How much: $28-$40
Tiickets: Wheeler box office; aspenshowtix.com
Aspen city clerk Linda Manning received a Federal Express package from the magician Mike Super last month reading “PREDICTIONS INSIDE DO NOT OPEN.”
The clerk, in an unusual bit of municipal business, is keeping the sealed package under lock and key in City Hall until Saturday night, when Mike Super will perform at the Wheeler Opera House and will open the package. The illusionist says it contains his prediction for a headline in Saturday’s Aspen Times.
Manning herself is in charge of taking the package from the city’s safe and delivering it to Super onstage at the Wheeler.
“I’ve done some strange things, but I’ve never done anything in terms of being a magician’s assistant before,” Manning said this week.
Super has successfully pulled off the headline prediction trick a handful of times before. In September, before a show in Phoenix, Super successfully predicted the headline “Maria’s enduring pain” — atop a story about Hurricane Maria — in the Arizona Republic.
If Super gets the headline wrong, he has promised to pay back the price of admission for everyone in the audience at his show.
“It’s a fun wager with the community,” Super said in a recent phone interview from home in Pittsburgh. “It’s a lot of fun. It adds a little more intrigue to the magic show before it even begins.”
He’s bankrolled this potentially pricey trick with a portion of his $250,000 winnings from NBC’s “Phenomenon” magic competition show, which he won a decade ago. The live TV show win made Super, who has also appeared on “America’s Got Talent,” a nationally touring magic star with his contemporary and comedic spin on the age-old art of illusion.
“Onstage, I try really hard to not be the guy saying, ‘I have these superhuman powers, look at me!’” he said. “I try to be one of the audience and go on a journey with them. It’s not, ‘Look what I can do,’ it’s ‘Look what we can do together’ and it’s fun.”
Super doesn’t have wind machines blowing his hair or smoke machines fogging up the stage. His stage show instead relies on his charm and his illusions. Today’s magicians, he noted, have some fierce competition from smartphone technology.
“Everybody has the most entertaining thing that you could possible want in their pocket,” he said. “So to get people to look up from their cellphones, to compete with that, you have to turn it up a notch and figure out what they really care about.”
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The Aspen Music Festival’s Harris Hall recitals and “Met: Live in HD” broadcasts will run in February and March, with tickets on sale Thursday, Jan. 27.