Central Virginia Magicians’ Competition at the Gateway Theatre

gatewayEvery magician would dream of having this title, but the only way to win this title is to be part of a magic competition. Unfortunately there is none in the Valley. That is until now! WTA’s Gateway will fill that void with its first WTA Virginia Magicians’ Competition. Hosted by master magician Peter Monticup, the evening will feature seven magicians vying for top honors in the Saturday, June 1 magic slam. The 7:30 pm performance is at 329 West Main in downtown Waynesboro.

The seven magicians range from a veteran magic maker to a talented teenager. They will come to Waynesboro from as far away as Williamsburg and as close as Grottoes. Each brings his own style of magic to confound the audience and entertain the dubious. Four celebrity judges will critique each magic act, but the Grand Prize and the Runner-Up will be determined by the audience who will vote for their favorite. A third place winner will receive a Magic Tricks gift certificate from Peter Monticup, owner of Magic Tricks online shop.

The Magic Competition judges are Lou Dean, Richmond Talk Radio host; Tom Dempsey, WHSV-TV 3; David Clauss, President of the Charlottesville Magic Club and the Barnum of the Blue Ridge Mark Cline.

The seven magicians are Brandon Baggett, Brian Bence, Nathan Clauss, Zachary Gartrell, Lawrence Lessner, J. J. Slatner, and Magic Witt.

Brandon “Chip” Baggett lives in Williamsburg, Virginia. He has been performing magic for the last 15 years. He is known as a “Card Magician”, but he also does close-up magic and is branching out to what is called in the profession “Stand-up Magic.” Chip has just completed an enlistment with the Marines.

Brian Bence comes from Grottoes. He has been doing magic for more than 20 years. His combinations of illusion, sleight of hand, and comedy have made him one of the Valley’s favorite magicians.

Nathan Clauss started his magic career when he was six and attended his first magic convention with his father. Now at the beginning of his teens, he enjoys creating new illusions and working with members of the Hocus Pocus club of Charlottesville.

Zachary Gartrell‘s sleight of hand is so great that you do not want to blink while he is performing for you will miss the trick. He has been doing magic for over twelve years in the Richmond area and is a member of both International Brotherhood of Magicians and Society of Magicians.

Lawrence Lessner began his magic career in Hollywood and later moved to New York City. His solo cabaret magic act has evolved and is currently focused on “mindreading”.

J. J. Slatner has worked close up and street magic all over the country along with some of the biggest names in street and close up magic including the Great Gazzo from England, Jeff McBride, David Blaine, just to mention a few. He will combine his street magic with audience participation too.

Magic Watt has been a magician for over 50 years. He has performed international in a wide variety of venues and created a number of original magic effects, one of which he will bring to the Magic Competition. He is the President of the Richmond, Virginia, International Brotherhood Magicians’ Ring and a member of the prestigious Society of American Magicians.

Tickets for the Gateway Magician’s Competition are available online at www.wtagateway.com or by calling 540-943-9999. Advanced tickets are $10 in advance and $12 on the day of the performance. Seating is limited.