The most impressive trick magician Phil Dalton is performing on his current tour may be the tour itself: Dalton, of Cincinnati, is performing 50 shows in 50 states in 50 days.
The tour takes him to Scipio Community Church Monday. Speaking over the phone between shows, Dalton said it also functions as a family vacation. He, his wife and their five children tour full-time, typically by taking their magic show to the South and the states on the way there from Ohio.
Last March, Dalton said, he suggested the 50-50-50 idea to his wife — and to his surprise, she was not only game but she mapped out its route within an hour. It began June 2 in Juneau, Alaska, and will conclude July 21 in Hawaii.
The magician said working the two non-contiguous states into the tour was less of a challenge than smaller states like Vermont, which sometimes lack the venue options he sought for his show.
Nonetheless, Dalton continued, most states in the tour offer his family something in the way of sightseeing: They saw the Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, and plan on seeing the Statue of Liberty in New York and the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
"One of the greatest parts of the tour is that our family gets to see things we wouldn't see any other way," he said. "It's one of our greatest blessings."
Dalton said his family landed on Scipio for its New York stop because it was right along their route and had everything they wanted in a venue.
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Most of the venues for the Dalton family's magic show are churches, as their illusions come with a message of the Bible's good news. Dalton said that even though he was "that guy" in the back of high school classrooms doing magic when he should have been listening, he was also raised in a Christian home and therefore "heard the good news at an early age."
"Now I get paid to do what I used to get in trouble for," he said. "If I can tell the (Bible's message) to someone else, that's a wonderful thing."
Dalton said his family's magic show is performed Las Vegas-style. Appropriate for all ages, it will include Dalton dividing himself in half, someone floating in midair, people appearing and disappearing, and some audience participation. Though magic is making a comeback on TV, he said, his show is "the kind of traveling magic show you really don't see anymore."
"All the things you see on TV you're going to see live, happening right in front of you, and we're going to have a great time," he said.
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