Kirby Vanburch Theatre
2353 State Highway 248
Branson, MO 65616-7241
Kirby VanBurch, star of NBC’s World’s Greatest Magic began his magical career at age 7 in Houston, Texas, after attending a magic show. During the show the magician called for volunteers, an enthusiastic VanBurch was heart broken as the older children were called to the stage and later rewarded by the magician for their help with booklet’s claiming to contain all the magical secrets of that day’s performance. When Kirby’s mother arrived she found him in tears about the booklet he never received. To ease his fascination, Kirby mastered simple tricks. He fondly recalls, "I discovered magic as a child, a time when you still don’t know your own limitations... I’ve never let go of that."
Young VanBurch migrated to Las Vegas quickly becoming the youngest star in the famous down town "GLITTER GULCH." After creating the successful production "World of Magic" greater recognition soon followed VanBurch the featured performer in the Thirty Million-Dollar Spectacular "Jubilee" at the MGM Grand Hotel. Enchanting audiences and management alike. Kirby was soon staring in the Reno Nevada extravaganza "HELLO HOLLYWOOD HELLO" the largest production show in the world. The Reno/Sparks Nugget Hotel recruited the master of illusion resulting in the highly successful show, "ALAKAZAAM". To celebrate the opening of the nuggets new 20- story tower, Van Burch drew national attention with a dazzling, death-defying stunt. Hoisted 20 stories in the air by a giant construction crane, Kirby was suspended up side down in foot shackles and a straight jacket, held aloft by only a flaming rope. His successful escape eclipsed even the great Houdini. This amazing "Great Escape" would later result in VanBurch being introduced in to the "Ripley’s Believe It Or Not" museum.
International acclaim soon followed and VanBurch was invited to appear through out Europe and Asia. After three royal command performances for the King of Thailand VanBurch received a personal invitation from the Royal Palace. It was there that the princess of Thailand bestowed the Royal title "Prince of Magic" upon Kirby VanBurch.
Kirby returned home to Las Vegas where he headlined at the Aladdin hotel for seven years.Then in 1992 VanBurch signed to appear at the multi- million dollar five star theatre (now renamed the Remington theatre) in Branson, Missouri. In 1993 Branson awarded the Prince Of Magic with AAMA’s most prestigious award Branson’s show of the year. VanBurch also has many beautiful exotic animals in his show. His animal family includes a spotted leopard, spotty, a black leopard Oscar, an orange bangle tiger Nugget, a new lion Merlin, as well as Branson’s most famous cat a Royal White Bengal tiger named Branson. Branson weighing in at a whopping 875 pounds isn’t the only big act in the show: Kirby is known for his signature illusion the appearance of a bell 35 jet ranger helicopter in less than 4 seconds. This is the world’s largest, fastest illusion. Kirby VanBurch Branson’s premier magician and winner of many prestigious awards including 2001 international entertainer of the year award and 1999 international magician of the year award by the society of magicians also added the magic show of the year award by the Springfield newsleader. Kirby VanBurch has traveled the worlds 37 countries to be exact, amazing audiences with his spectacular showcase of grand illusions.
The 2008 Merlin Award goes to… By Nancy Smith
(Branson, MO – July 1, 2008) The Merlin Award for Magician of the Year is similar to an Oscar for actors. Harry Blackstone, Doug Henning, Siegfried and Roy, David Copperfield, Penn and Teller, Criss Angel, Darren Romeo, Brett Daniel, and Kirby VanBurch have all won the coveted statue. Last year, Bambi VanBurch won the Merlin for Female Magician of the Year, and stood along-side her husband, a former Merlin recipient, who was named Entertainer of the Year. At a VIP special show on Tuesday, July 1, Bambi was awarded her second consecutive Merlin, when Tony Hassini, Chairman and CEO of the International Magicians Society (IMS) honored her as the Female Magician of the Year for 2008 as well.
Bambi was drawn to tears by the support, and said, “Thank you to my husband. You are the best teacher I ever had, and I love you.”
The IMS touts over 37,000 members worldwide, and according to the Guiness Book of World Records, is the world’s largest magic society. Meeting the criteria for the Merlin is not easy, as the magician must show talent, showmanship, originality, skills, and the rare ability to entertain under any condition. The statue was commissioned to over 100 art students at New York University and the winning design was carved and created in 1969 by NYU art student Carol Michard.
In this year’s show, Bambi and Kirby VanBurch trade off performing grand as well as more intimate illusions on stage. After 15 years in Branson, Kirby VanBurch still makes the show fresh with new illusions, such as removing a girl’s head from her body and moving it to another place, then putting it back with the girl unharmed. He also thrills the audience with tigers and pumas. Throughout the show the duo repeatedly explains to the audience that these are just illusions, not real.
Bambi’s show repertoire consists of illusions where she makes a unicorn disappear, she suddenly disappears from an on-stage chair and reappears in the statue of King Tut, switches the heads of a chicken and a duck, and performs magical Origami, the art of folding a box which contains a person, pierces the box with swords and then reverses the process.
One of the favorite Bambi illusions follows the mind-reading footsteps of Madam Shipaleski. Blindfolded and turned around, she names items held up by audience members, very seldom ever missing one. She even names motel room key room numbers, names of individuals, amount of change in a pocket and money in a billfold.
Don’t worry, Kirby still goes out in the audience looking for a “Kid” to help him with his Houdini style passing through a mirror trick. Adding the suffix-anator to the child’s name that he has chosen, Kirby does a little routine as he has done for many years, and has actually established a lasting relationship with many of the volunteers. One child now grown-up, Rob Lake, came up on stage to help Kirby when he was seven years old – a life-changing experience for him. In May of this year, the Rob-anator received his first Merlin award, on the stage where it all started, standing beside his mentor, Kirby VanBurch.
Kirby quit school, and never graduated, due to a difficult learning disability, dyslexia. Now he has become a celebrated teacher, not just once, but twice! Congratulations Bambi, Rob, and Kirby for your coveted accomplishments.
Published by KirbyVanBurch.com
posted by DigitalMedium.net at 1:17 PM