MODESTO — Magician Bradley Fields takes audience members on a trip around the world to see awe-inspiring wonders.
At his show "Out of Thin Air!" Sunday at the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto, the Washington, D.C.-based entertainer will take the crowd to India, Paris, London and New York where he will display a vanishing yogi, a lady divided into three, levitation of a living princess and more.
The show, which is targeted for ages 6 and up, features a cast of four trained actors and is carefully staged and choreographed.
"It's really a great show," Fields said. "It's unlike any show out there. We try to make it funny and poignant and poetic and just elicit emotions of wonder and joy."
Fields recreates the role of the barker that he played in the 1980 Broadway musical "Barnum" and he strives to give his audiences the feeling of an old-time magic show. He doesn't like the current trends in magic, which he finds superficial and empty. He sees a lot of flash, noise and flickering lights in Las Vegas-style shows.
"I try to bring an element of charm and innocence," Fields said. "Rather than keep stimulating (the audience) with fireworks, we try to draw the audience in to really experience the magic."
Fields got started in magic as a teenager when we worked as an apprentice for actor-magician Jack Adams. He performed in nightclubs, schools, theater and on television. Later, he earned a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from State University of New York, Purchase, with a minor in theater.
He said magic led him to his interest in philosophy. He wanted to understand more about what's real and what's not real.
"Is this all there is? Is there anything beyond this?" Fields said. "I leave it as an open question. You can bring your own consciousness into a state of complete openness and wonder and awe. Once you're in that state, that's the answer."
Fields went on to study mime in Paris and to develop his own magic act. He's gained a lot of attention for his "MatheMagic!" show which teaches math skills and problem solving through entertaining stage illusions and will be performed to Modesto school children at the Gallo Center Monday. It dates back to 1997 when he first hosted the "Magic in Math" satellite TV series, which was seen in hundreds of schools nationwide.
While he enjoys the "MatheMagic" show, he has a special place in his heart for "Out of Thin Air."
"This is a real theatrical show," he said. "This is not something where the grown-ups are going to be bored. They're going to be thrilled."
WHAT: Magician Bradley Fields
WHEN: 2 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Rogers Theater, Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto
CALL: (209) 338-2100