A little Christmas magic is in the cards at the Sunlight Community Church.
Illusionists Brett and Labrina Myers are kicking off the holiday season with two shows on Saturday, Dec. 2.
“It’s about the true meaning and true magic of Christmas,” Brett Myers said in a telephone interview. He added the show is about much more than astonishing audiences with things appearing, disappearing and levitating.
“The Wonder of Christmas” shows will be at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Sunlight, 477 SW Cashmere Blvd. Bill Whitt, associate pastor of worship and media, said last year the church had Jared Hall, another illusionist. That show made quite a crowd appear.
“Last year’s show, we had standing-room only,” Whitt said. “We had to turn people away. This year we decided to do two shows to allow more people to attend.”
The shows are free. The church will take up offerings during both.
Brett Myers said the shows have illusions that most folks have probably never seen.
“They can expect to see a bowling ball appear out of a sketch pad after I’ve drawn it,” he said.
There’ll also be a levitating Christmas table. “They can even experience snowing in Florida,” Myers said.
If you’re stumped on finding a perfect Christmas present for someone, take him or her to the show.
“My wife will be doing a few illusions with me as well, including predicting what the audience wants for Christmas this year,” Myers said.
That’s a form of stage magic called “mentalism.” The stage magicians can seem to read minds. How they do it is … well, that’s a magician’s secret.
“We combine a lot of different things,” Myers said. “They’re going to see all kinds of different forms of magic.”
Entertainers have used illusion for millennia. Books on the subject of doing seemingly supernatural feats through sleight-of-hand were published at least as far back as the 15th century. Back then, illusionists were mostly parts of larger shows and fairs.
Stage magic as we now know it goes back to the 1800s and only seems to grow in popularity. Whitt himself has tried his hand at illusion. “I performed illusions myself for the Southern Baptist church when I was growing up in West Virginia.
“It was a hobby of mine growing up. It’s something I enjoy. I still like to visit magic shops and learn new tricks.”
Stage illusions, he said, can be helpful to talk to audiences about serious realities. Whitt said he’s used illusions to help illustrate the real need to forgive, for example.
“(Myers will) also explain some of the meaning of Christmas through his illusions, which is ministry,” Whitt explained.
However, Whitt said the show is enjoyable to all – even those who may not share Christian beliefs. Myers said Labrina and he have done a lot of touring with their stage shows that are just as importantly ministry. “We basically got started in this as a way to share our faith with other people,” Myers said.
The couple has cut back on the traveling in recent years and do much of their work in Pennsylvania now.
Along with churches, the couple do shows at schools and military bases. The pair now have three stage shows. Along with “The Wonder of Christmas,” they have “Journey Beyond the Natural” and “Illusion & Truth.” Whitt said Sunlight particularly likes the audience participation in the Myers shows.
“(Myers) has a lot of kids on stage,” he said. “He’s good with entertaining people of all ages, which is important to us.”
The show is open on a first-come, first-served basis.
The church will also have two candlelight services on Christmas Eve, Sunday, Dec. 24. Those will also be at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
More about the church is at www.sunlightcc.org. More about the Myers is at www.bretmyers.com.