David DaVinci engaged young audience members during a show at the Panida Theater in Sandpoint, Idaho. [Courtesy photo]

Illusionist David DaVinci performed in front of a sold-out, “spellbound” crowd of 700 during last year’s fundraiser show for the Grand County Education Foundation.

He’ll be back in Moab with an updated light show and many new illusions for his comedy, magic and thrills show, which will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. at the Grand County High School Auditorium. His performance will again benefit the education foundation.

“You usually have to go to Las Vegas or on a cruise to see his show,” GCEF board member Valerie Brown said. “It’s called ‘thrillusional’ because it’s thrilling; it’s a really high-energy show.”

DaVinci, 35, began playing around with magic at age 4, and by high school was performing at restaurants after he captured attention building props for magic shows.

By the time he was 17, he won first place in a nationwide competition. The following year, at age 18, he won “World Champion of Magic” at the Pacific Rim Professional Stage Championship, competing with magicians from all over the Pacific Rim.

These days, the illusionist tours the world, often headlining at theme parks and on cruises. His shows have also been featured on several television specials such as “Masters of Magic,” “Magic Planet,” OTV in Shanghai and others.

“I started performing for neighbors, then I realized I could make a living entertaining people,” DaVinci said. “I’ve performed on six continents, from royalty to cruise lines.”

The Grand County Education Foundation has funded a variety of projects or programs at each of the local schools, including robotics, and art and music programs, Brown said. Most recently, the foundation purchased new uniforms for the high school marching band. The GCEF also funds scholarships for college-bound high school seniors.

“It’s our second year doing this particular fundraiser with David,” she said. “Last year was a huge success. His show is so amazing.”

Local students are being proactive in raising money for their causes by selling tickets themselves – proceeds of which they get to keep for their program or project, Brown said. Groups selling tickets to the DaVinci show include the marching band, the high school girls’ basketball team, the high school debate club and the school’s art club.

Brown said “generous local sponsorship” helped to bring DaVinci to town – sponsors include Utah Central Association of Realtors-Southeast Chapter, Moab Regional Hospital, Crump-Reese Ford and Chevy, Gearheads, Central Utah Insurance, Moab Brewery, Nelson’s Heating and Cooling, Holiday Inn Express, Moab Chevron, and Community Circle.

Tickets are also available in advance for $10 at Back of Beyond Books, Canyonlands Copy Center, Central Utah Insurance, and at Grand County Middle School and Grand County High School. Tickets are $15 at the door.

Magic show to benefit local schools

“You usually have to go to Las Vegas or on a cruise to see his show. It’s called ‘thrillusional’ because it’s thrilling; it’s a really high-energy show”

When: Tuesday, Oct. 23. at 7 p.m.

Where: Grand County High School Auditorium, 608 S. 400 East

Cost: Tickets $10 advance; $15 at the door

Information: 435-260-2808