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    Illusionist Nathan Kranzo headlining Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey | Entertainment

    What do comedy and magic have in common? The answer is Nathan Kranzo. Kranzo is a Michigan native and illusionist known worldwide from his appearance on the Chinese television show “The Amazing Magicians,” and he’s coming to Petoskey.

    “Comedy and magic are healing tools for the soul,” Kranzo said. “There are so many things in our life that distract us that are negative. People really need to laugh and be entertained and, most importantly, feel that feeling of astonishment that makes you feel like a kid again.”

    At 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, “The Amazing Kranzo Show” is coming to the Crooked Tree Arts Center in downtown Petoskey.

    A typical show consists of steady audience interaction using jokes, or bits and tricks like borrowing a woman’s wedding ring only to have it reappear inside of a lemon within a sealed bag on stage.

    In the late 1990s and his early days of magic, Kranzo took to performing on street corners of downtown Petoskey.

    “Right out of college, (the city was) looking for street performers for the summer. So, my grandma told me about it because my family always had a place up there, and I spent my summers up there since I was born. We had to audition for it and we got to collect tips.”

    Later in his career Kranzo made it to a prevalent entertainment show in China.

    “It was essentially a version of America’s Got Talent but just for magic,” Kranzo said.

    “Just like America’s Got Talent, they used some of the most popular stars in China to be judges on the show. The show ended up being number one for 12 weeks in China.”

    During one of his skits on “The Amazing Magicians,” Kranzo lines up the five judges on stage and gives them each an unopened pack of cards.

    He instructs them to open the box, shuffle the cards, and place them into a single, large, clear plastic bag. The contestants then draw a random card from the bag of five full decks of shuffled cards. When Kranzo instructs the judges to reveal their card, one by one they each showed the five of hearts.

    “I don’t think that I have any abilities that are special. I think we all have the ability to do what I do. I just practiced it and revised it and made it a goal of my life which not a lot of people do,” Kranzo said.

    “The coolest thing that magic has going for it is that it’s very interactive. I’m not only talking to the audience and letting them interact with me, but physically going into the audience and dragging people up on stage. If you’re watching TV and you see a magician that’s one thing. But if all of a sudden your brother gets pulled up on stage, now you have a little bit more vested interest, and it’s a bit more funny and interesting to you,” Kranzo said.

    For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Kranzo.live/tickets. The Crooked Tree Arts Center is located at 461 E. Mitchell St., Petoskey.

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