With new acts and a “Star Wars” theme this year, expect a night of sci-fi intertwined with magic at this year’s “Nothin’ Up My Sleeve” benefit at the Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake.
The 14th annual vaudeville-style show produced by emcees Glenn Chelius, a magician and ventriloquist, and Nino Cruz, a magician and illusionist, will be at 6 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Raue, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. Tickets cost $17 for adults, $6 for students at www.rauecenter.org or 815-356-9212. Those who attend are encouraged to wear sci-fi or “Star Wars” related costumes.
“Every year, we come up with something crazy,” Cruz saod of this year’s show, expected to include light sabers, smoke and video and sound effects, along with illusions, juggling, comedy and of course, magic. “Everything has a little twist.”
“Star Wars” characters, such as R2-D2, Storm Troopers, Princess Leia, Jabba the Hutt and others, will appear, disappear and participate in magical surprises on stage. They’ll also be available after the show to pose for photos and greet fans.
Along with Chelius and Cruz, the show will feature Paul Mazzoni, a sci-fi magician from Addison who promises a “floating light saber routine,” illusionist Tristan Crist of the Tristan Crist Magical Theatre in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, vaudeville juggler Andy Head of Aurora and newcomer Andy Kline of Crystal Lake.
At age 21, Kline sought out the show, having known about it for years. Since receiving his first magic kit for Christmas at age 8, he’s worked on his magic skills with area professional magicians and teaching himself through online videos and television shows. He began performing at birthday and Christmas parties at age 13.
“It’s an honor to get to perform there,” Kline said of the Raue show.
For Cruz and others involved with the benefit through the years, the show has become a rewarding tradition.
“It makes me feel like a kid again, and it’s my passion,” Cruz said. “It’s raising money for the Raue, and I just have a blast. Glenn and I, we always pick each other’s brains. We get the juices flowing to keep coming up with something new.”