Ellusionist Web master David Mitchell reminded us of Greg Frewin’s upcoming Christmas special, “Greg Frewin Magic Man: Home for the Holidays,” which will be shown tomorrow by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The show sounds pretty interesting just from the CBC’s description (only Canadians can access the accompanying online-exclusive videos).
But a series of stories by the Niagara Falls Review make it downright compelling. Reporter John Law scored exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to taping for the show and preparations for a big stunt at the end; his three-part series was published this week. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.)
Frewin, a former Vegas entertainer, invested almost everything he had into converting a factory into a 700-seat theater. The bold move paid off after its bumpy first year in 2005 — it now sells out every summer and has become a top attraction for the city of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. But he knows that it’s TV that will push his name to legendary status, he said. Instead of emulating Blaine’s urban shamanism or Angel’s shock and raw, Frewin’s hook is to show life behind the curtain, as a husband and father of two.
Lee Asher, Frewin’s street-magic consultant, vouches for his work ethic in part one:
“Greg is cut from a different cloth. Greg will do a show, and when he’s done he’ll go backstage and weld his props. When he’s done with that, he comes out and manages the theatre. When he’s done with that, he gets to go home and be a dad. He’s constantly doing something, constantly pushing. Hopefully, they’ll film that. There’s no one like Greg, there really isn’t. Greg’s working on the lights … I don’t know anyone (like him) who does that. They’ll wait. Greg, he doesn’t have time for the light guy. He’s gotta get down there and get his hands on that board. We work with Greg. We don’t work for Greg.”