The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

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Campus Theatre welcomes famous magician to the stage

With the spooky season rapidly approaching, Lewisburg is already preparing for the festivities that come with the spirit of Halloween. International illusionist John Westford will entertain at the Campus Theatre on Market Street for one night only on Sept. 30 at 7 p.m.

Westford, who started with “a magic set and a $5 paycheck for a birthday party” and ultimately became known as an international magician, is known to bring mind-bending illusions and a quick wit to every show he performs. 

He began a more conventional career with the Pennsylvania State Senate, but the world of magic and entertainment called to him, leading him to leave his 9 to 5 job behind and star in a variety stage show in Paramount’s Kings Dominion.

“The show opened to rave reviews and well over 300 performances later the act was ready when Nabisco launched a nationwide talent search,” according to Westford’s press release. “John was selected from thousands of magicians nationwide to perform live on stage with magic icon Harry Blackstone Jr. at the Tropicana in Atlantic City.”

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From there, he knew the art of illusion was his calling. He was offered and attended gigs in New York City and made appearances on national television along with most of the major cruise lines, including collaborations with Alabama, The Beach Boys, Joan Rivers, Clint Holmes and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Westford is also no stranger to Lewisburg, Pa., as he performed at the Campus Theatre a couple of years ago, according to Michael Conard, Rental and Programming Director at the Theatre.

“The mystical and magical illusions of John Westford left our audience astounded and questioning their beliefs on if magic is real or not,” Conard said. “We’ve all seen magic in television and film, but getting to experience it in real life, up close and personal, it was truly a mind-blowing experience.”

When he visited this town to perform, he was known for catching people off guard and tickling their funny bone. 

“It’s not just magic, as John Westford cast a spell of comedy that had everyone laughing their heads off,” Conard said. “Now, that would be some magic trick!”

More recently, Westford has appeared in dozens of television shows and major motion pictures, including as a young Dan Aykroyd in Celebrity Ghost Stories and as a Secret Service Agent for the Secretary of State, played by Sigourney Weaver. Westford’s comedy and illusion show has taken him to more than 37 countries and nearly every state in the country.

This weekend, for his “LIVE at the Campus Theatre” event, he is not just showing up solo. He will be accompanied by a couple of notable people, including special musical guests and founding members of The Armadillos, Michael Cullin, Ted Holman and Brian Koch.

According to the press release, “Dr. Steve from the Extractors will be sitting in on the keyboard as they play you a blend of brand-new original music and some stylized cover songs.”

For those interested, general admission is $25. There are also a limited number of VIP tickets for $50, which start at 6 p.m. and include light refreshments, reserved seating and up-close-and-personal magic with Westford, but those tickets are selling quickly.

“The VIP tickets have practically vanished before our very eyes,” Conard said.

For more information, visit “Campus Theatre” on Facebook.

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Michael Taromina
Michael Taromina, News Editor

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