WATERLOO, Iowa --- Earlier this year, magician Kevin Barnes treated the North Star Community Services clients to a magic show they won't soon forget. What was supposed to be a short show for about 20 people turned into a production for nearly 100.
"They loved it. Pretty much everyone in the building at the time piled into our multipurpose room," said Jodie Muller, the center's director of development. "Everyone hears the word magician and they want to see. We just thought it was a lot of fun."
Now, Muller is hoping that Barnes' style of magic, his star-studded resume and his home-grown roots will pack the Central Middle School auditorium and help North Star at the same time. Barnes will put on a near-90-minute show Friday to raise money and awareness for the center, a rehabilitative services agency that provides adult day services, employment opportunities and supported community living services to individuals with disabilities.
"We were trying to come up with some fundraising ideas, something that was a little different, not the 5K that everyone is doing," Muller said. "We thought this would be interesting and family friendly."
Barnes, who just wrapped up a summer working as a magician in Myrtle Beach, S.C., said he has focused on fundraising and "green" shows since leaving his permanent gig at the Excalibur Hotel Casino Las Vegas. He said the North Star show will be more family friendly than environmentally friendly.
"I am going to do a lot of fun things with audience participation," Barnes said, including levitating an audience member. "I also do this really fun routine where I borrow a kid's shoe and there is a 'mishap.'"
Barnes said he also relies on old magician favorites like Harry Houdini escape tricks, sawing people in half and using a guillotine on stage.
"It's all about the showmanship and the fun of working the crowd," he said.