We flew from Bilbao, Spain to Milan, Italy on Monday (11/28), were picked up by our driver (Beppe) and started the journey to Imperia. We had about a 3 hour drive so we arrived after 8pm. We checked into the Hotel Miramare and settled in for two days.
Our performances in Italy were coordinated by LIVENATION ITALY – the largest promoter in Europe. Presenting an illusion show is not a typical performance in the theatres of Italy so this was something new for all of us.
Imperia is located on the Mediterranean Sea in Northern Italy. We also found out that it is most famous for its “seafood spaghetti” – the best in all of Europe they say. We arrived at the theatre around 12noon and met up with Salva and Massimo, our technical contacts from LIVENATION. This is a very old theatre in the center of town surrounded by very small cobblestone streets. Pedro from Transluminaria was already there with the equipment. We unloaded the truck and started setting up for the evening performance…which didn’t start until 9pm! Ticket sales had been good and we were less than 70 tickets from being sold out.
It’s an interesting stage because it is raked from front to back. I mean there is a significant slant to the stage which makes it very difficult to keep large, heavy illusions on wheels from rolling toward the audience! The solution was to nail a long narrow strip of wood to the floor so the wheels would have something to rest against and prevent them from rolling. The next challenge was finding ways to turn the illusions around on stage so the audience could see all sides. More strength than ingenuity was needed for that task!
Before the show, I met up with Monica, the translator, and we talked through some of the more “conversational” tricks. She did a great job during the show and the audience responded well to all of the magic. I spoke with many of them afterwards in the lobby and was told many times that they had never seen a show like ours before. One lady commented, “It was so amazing and unbelievable I wasn’t sure if it was real or illusion.”
We were back to the hotel by 12midnight and in bed by 1am. Morning would come early. We had a 4-hour drive to our next show in Sassuolo. Beppe met us at the hotel at 8:30am and we were on the road by 9am.
The drive to Sassuolo was very foggy but the sun finally came out once we moved further inland. We arrived at the theatre around 1:30pm and Salva had already coordinated the unloading of the equipment with Pedro. If we thought that Teatro Cavour stage had a slant to it, this place was even more sloped! This one was going to be a big challenge. We ended up re-staging several of the illusions to include Alan and Chase on stage to assist with the moving of the props.
The audience was great – very supportive and enthusiastic. While it was a smaller audience than Imperia, the energy level was very high.
After two shows in Italy – and a very full schedule for two weeks – we finally have a couple of days to rest. Beppe picked us up at the Hotel Terme Salvarola at 11am and we made the 90 minute drive to Verona. This is where we will stay for the next couple of days before catching our flight to Istanbul. The media there is starting to become more aware of our show. I’m booked to appear on CNN Turkey and another popular morning show. I’ll keep you posted!