CRYSTAL LAKE – With nothing but telepathic messages from his passenger guiding him, illusionist Nino Cruz drove down Williams Street in Crystal Lake Saturday afternoon – blindfolded.
Taking a bit of their magic show on the road, Cruz and partner Glenn Chelius wanted to give people a taste of their act just before the Nothin’ Up My Sleeve magic show at the Raue Center For The Arts.
Onlookers were amazed – some a tad nervous.
“It’s just kind of bizarre,’’ said 16-year-old Kati Stemple of Crystal Lake as she watched with friends at the corner of Brink and Williams. “Good luck to him.’’
“It could be pretty intense,” said 16-year-old Madie Edwards. “What if somebody’s backing out?’’
While the road was not blocked off, security personnel ran alongside the car as Cruz drove, with more security posted at the Brink and Williams streets intersection.
“He’s going pretty fast,’’ McHenry resident Nancy Bowman said as the car – emergency lights blinking – came down Williams toward Raue. “He didn’t even hit anybody. That was pretty brave.’’
The partners in magic were relieved when the stunt was over.
“You gunned it a couple of times,’’ Chelius said to Cruz afterward.
Saturday’s show raised money for the Raue Center, and the pair’s magic idol, icon Marshall Brodien – the Bozo Show’s “Wizzo,” was honored at the event.
“I grew up with him and we were inspired by his magic,’’ Chelius said.
A master magician and ventriloquist, Chelius brought his dummy rabbit, Henri, along for the ride through downtown Crystal Lake – garnering giggles from the kids watching.
With Chelius a Crystal Lake resident and Cruz from Lake Geneva, the two said it’s important to give back to the community, with Saturday’s show marking their eighth annual fundraiser for Raue.
The show included stand-up comedian and magician Ken Mate, who has opened for various well-known acts such as Chicago and Reba McEntire, and ventriloquist Dale Brown, who has appeared on Good Morning America and The Today Show.