News Column

The Idaho Statesman Michael Deeds column

October 13, 2013


Oct. 13--Farrell Dillon is a funny, high-energy illusionist and an honors graduate of the long-running Chavez School of Magic.

But even he can't wave a hand and make Mystique dinner theater reappear. The magic-themed eatery, which opened in 2010 near the Boise Spectrum, went poof after a year.

"It was a fun place to work," remembers Dillon, 28, who met his girlfriend there and wound up relocating to Boise from California about a year ago.

Dillon will have a chance to wow his new hometown on a large scale when the "Masters of Illusion Live!" tour visits CenturyLink Arena on Tuesday. The performance, which features a cast of 25, includes several stars from the "Masters of Illusion" TV show, including Dillon. It's Halloween-themed and will be staged in a 1,200-capacity theater setting. Tickets are $15-$49.50.

Audiences will witness everything from floating chairs to levitating women, flying pianos to gargoyles roaring to life.

Dillon is friendly but cagey when asked to describe more details about the production: "If people come and see the show, they'll be really happy with the time they spent with us. I don't want to give away the surprises that are coming your way."

Dillon, who grew up in California, became interested in magic when he was 12.

His mom bought him a deck of magic "Garfield" cards. ("It was before the live-action movie, so it wasn't SO bad," he jokes.)

But he put the gift aside.

"I thought it was lame," he says. "And then one day I was really bored, and I started playing with it. And I just got really, really interested in it."

Soon, he started blowing all his allowance on more advanced tricks. He attended Chavez after high school, then developed a personal style -- sleight of hand with humor.

"The comedy really helps the magic, and the magic helps the comedy," he says. "It's just a perfect marriage of the two things."

Dillon's signature act is to escape from a straightjacket while "surfing," or balancing on a surfboard. It's a trick inspired by growing up riding waves.

"It's just really a funny, weird routine. It's definitely uniquely mine," he says proudly.

Dillon recently wrapped up a new 13-episode season of "Masters of Illusion," scheduled to air in early 2014 on the CW network. He's the only cast member who has been in every show of all three seasons, he says.

In the immediate future, he'll do the live tour, take his act on a cruise ship and travel to gigs at various fundraisers and events.

Perhaps most magical? He'll live the Boise life. Dillon's best disappearing act may have been vanishing from the Golden State.

"It's amazing here," Dillon says. "I've gone back to L.A. about five or six times in the last year, and every time I'm there I'm like, 'Oh, this is awful!' "

--Masters of Illusion Live!, 7 p.m. Oct. 15, CenturyLink Arena, 233 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise. Tickets:


Join Tim Johnstone and me as we argue, er, discuss new music, spin the latest music from acts ranging from Jason Isbell to Imagine Dragons, and agree that a new Paul McCartney song is actually really good.

"The Other Studio" airs at 9 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River.


--The Treasure Valley's best hamburger -- by a mile! Our critic says he's found it.

--Explore the world of costume designer Star Moxley.

--Ah-nold and Sly try to convince us they're still tough guys in the new action movie "Escape Plan."

Michael Deeds' column runs Fridays in Scene and Sundays in Life. He appears Thursdays on Channel 6 News. Twitter: @IDS_Deeds


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