Thrills of ice skating, acrobatics & magic
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Thrills of ice skating, acrobatics & magic

Nathalie Tomada (The Philippine Star) - December 23, 2018 - 12:00am

The internationally-acclaimed show Magic On Ice comes to Manila for the first time, happening from Christmas Day, Dec. 25, until Jan. 1, 2019, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum

MANILA, Philippines — There’s a new show in town fusing the thrills of ice skating, acrobatics and magic.

Ice skating illusionist Steve Wheeler brings his critically-acclaimed spectacular Magic On Ice to Manila, starting this Christmas Day, Dec. 25, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“It’s a one-of-a-kind show that combines the power and speed, beauty and grace of an Olympic sport, which is ice-skating, with big, spectacular, grand illusions. You will see people appearing and vanishing, and beautiful levitations. We have fun audience participation, comedy effects and at one point, we will invite children from the audience (to go) down to the ice to participate in the show on ice,” promised Steve in a recent interview.

The Slinkies

Complementing the action on stage courtesy of 18 performers including Steve are dramatic lighting used in big concerts and some of the most cutting-edge technical effects.

According to Wheeler, the show appeals to audiences across all ages.

“The kids love the show! We have numbers that are specifically geared for the kids. (The show) has big appeal to children and even very small children,” he said. “Although it’s not a show only for kids, so whether you’re 44 or 84, it will be a fun night-out, or a date night-out for the whole family to go.”

The Ice Angel

The half-and-hour Magic On Ice has traveled to 200 cities spanning the US, Asia, Middle East and Europe. It has been staged in some of the world’s most massive venues such as Europe’s largest revue theater, the Friedrichstadt Palast in Berlin, Germany and the world’s arguably most popular arena, the Madison Square Garden in New York. This is the first time Magic On Ice is happening in Manila.

Adding prestige to the show is the producer-creator himself, who received top honors from the Society of American Magicians at the very young age of 14. Steve started touring the world at 19 after studying theater arts at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, California. He has also done TV shows and specials like the Masters of Illusion and Starskates Magic.

The show’s creator and producer Steve Wheeler

Steve’s great idea of combining magic and skating was inspired by his interests from when he was still a kid. He shared, “I begin performing magic when I was very young, like around nine or 10 years old. At the same time, I had a real love for sports and especially ice hockey. As a teenager, I began developing the magic, and I studied theater arts and I studied in a school for film and the arts. I also had a big love for concerts and big theatrical productions. And then as a teenager, I got the idea, well, why don’t I take the magic that I have and combine it with my love for the ice and big productions and create something that’s never been done before? That’s the start of Magic On Ice.”

Steve recalled that the show started very small. “At first, it was a 10-minute act (that was) part of another show. We had six people in the act. Then some years later, it became 20 minutes and then I took on the responsibility of producing a full show.”

“It grew and grew, and just became bigger and bigger,” he added.

The Raven

With the show seeing the world, did it undertake any adjustments to adapt to the culture of its audiences or follow guidelines in certain areas? Steve said, “Majority of everything in the show was created to sort of have a universal appeal so we don’t have a lot of changes. The show doesn’t have much dialogue, other than just greeting the audience. So, there’s no language barrier or anything like that. The only changes we’ve made is when the country is extremely religious, some of the costuming had to be adapted… we cover the performers a little more or if the music (lyrics) is controversial in any way that could offend, then we make very small changes. But the show is designed to appeal to everyone.”

Steve said that he has a lot of favorite numbers in the show, mostly ones that allow him to have close encounters with the audience members.

Magic and levitation on Magic On Ice

And the craziest and most thrilling act to pull off? He said, “I do an illusion where I’m placed in an enclosure and I’m handcuffed to the front of that enclosure and there are big sets of knives hanging above it in a rope spinning. They (production people) light the rope on fire and I have to escape before the knives fall down. I won’t give away the ending but it gets great reactions.”

Magic on Ice is happening from Dec. 25 to Jan. 1, 2019. For details, log on to or call 911-5555.

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