There’s going to be plenty of magic taking place in conjunction with this summer’s Great American Comedy Festival. And a different kind, too.
Sponsored by Nucor Steel, the comedy festival will again be offering magic and card trick classes on its opening day — Wednesday, June 17 — and again on Friday, June 19. Taught by Derek Hughes, the professional magician who will host the Wednesday evening “Magic & More” performance at the Johnny Carson Theatre, there are three classes planned. On Wednesday, from 1 to 2:30 p.m., a “grab bag of magic” class for ages 913 will take place at the Elkhorn Valley Museum auditorium in Norfolk. From 3 to 4:30 p.m., a “card tricks with Derek” class for ages 14 and up will be held at the same location.
All magic class materials will be provided for those registering to take home with them. The registration cost is $25 and there is a limit of 20 participants in each class.
Then on Friday from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce, an “Up Close with Derek Hughes” class will be offered for adults 21 and older. It will focus on “up close” magic and card tricks. The cost to register for that class also is $25. To register, go to www.greatamericancomedyfestival.com. For more information, contact Susan Warneke at 8602500.
While those classes will feature actual magic, other parts of the festival will feature events that will be magical, or special, in their own way.
Thursday: Red Carpet Premiere The festival will, literally, “roll out the red carpet” on Thursday, June 18, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in front of the Johnny Carson Theatre prior to that evening’s performance. Designed to have the feel of a Hollywood redcarpet event, all of the comedians and talent participating in the festival, as well as local and area dignitaries, have been invited to participate. They’ll be dropped off by limousines and town cars in front of the theater where local media personalities will be on hand to interview them, take photos and broadcast live. Paige Pflueger, Miss Nebraska Teen USA, and radio personality Austen Hagood will host the event and interview guests as they arrive. In case of inclement weather, the activities will take place inside the theater lobby. Members of Norfolk High School’s Panther Posse will be on hand to assist the public with taking and posting “selfies” to the festival’s social media outlets for a chance to win festival tickets to the Saturday, June 20, performance featuring Brian Regan, as well as the festival’s private postshow gathering.
Friday: Johnny Under the Stars For those seeking to laugh along with Johnny Carson, the festival and the Norfolk Arts Center is planning a free “Johnny Under the Stars” outdoor showing of video highlights from “The Tonight Show” on Friday, June 19. The event will take place in the arts center’s outdoor garden and begin at 10 p.m. after the festival performance at the nearby Johnny Carson Theatre concludes. In case of inclement weather, the showing will take place inside the arts center. Saturday: Mingle with the comedians Following the Saturday, June 20, festival performance at the Johnny Carson Theatre, Divots in Norfolk will host a postshow gathering starting at 9 p.m. Many of the comedians who performed at the festival are expected to attend, giving Norfolk and area residents a chance to visit with them and relive that evening’s show.