The Tristan Crist Magic Theatre is a modern 175-seat theatre in Lake Geneva devoted entirely to large scale magic and illusion shows performed by illusionist Tristan Crist. It has been awarded Lake Geneva’s #1 “Thing to Do” on TripAdvisor for five years running and has become a popular show for Lake Geneva visitors to attend every year. Like many Wisconsin tourist attractions, it was shut down for several months due to the pandemic prior to reopening mid-May. Owner and illusionist Tristan Crist recently answered some questions regarding the show and how to have a safe and enjoyable experience at the theatre in 2020.
What have you done to make the theatre safe for patrons to attend?
We have implemented several social distancing protocols at the theatre to allow for a safe and enjoyable experience this summer.
- Limiting capacity to allow for plenty of space for easy social distancing.
- Empty seats are placed in between each group.
- Audience participation is adapted to eliminate close interaction with the performers and props.
- Allowing for a “hands-free” experience from the moment customers enter. Customers simply check in by using their name and walking to their isolated seating area.
- Hand sanitizer is readily available.
- All concession items are prepackaged.
- Staff members are wearing masks.
- Following the August 1, 2020 Wisconsin governor mask mandate, customers are required to wear masks indoors except when eating or drinking or if the patron has any number of health-related exceptions.
Additional note: Staff continues to sanitize restrooms and surfaces before, during and after every performance.
How are audiences reacting to the new experience so far?
Our audiences have been great! Excited to get out of the house to do something “normal,” everyone is being respectful of distancing considerations. There is a renewed energy and enthusiasm coming from audiences. I think the opportunity go out on date night to watch a live performance and experience a show in a social setting instead of sitting at home watching Netflix is going to give live performance a continued boost in popularity as we move forward. We’ve also seen some very fun and creative mask designs. I love meeting and talking to audience members after the show, from 6 feet away of course.
What’s new in the 2020 show for repeat visitors?
Every season we add new material to the show, and this year is no exception. We just started doing this effect where Shannon, my assistant, is hypnotized and carefully balanced on two step stools. I remove the stools causing her to float in thin air as I pass a solid metal hoop around her. After cutting her in halves for years, Shannon is turning the tables on me and we are working on a trick where I lay on a table and she squeezes my body into a small 12-inch space before putting me back together. This should be in the show by this fall. Of course, we still perform our signature metamorphosis illusion and appearing helicopter illusion, and I’m looking forward to showing audiences a trick I came up with as a young magician just starting out. Throughout the month of August, we also have a guest artist who is a mind-reader and mentalist. His act provides some unique audience participation that can be done in a safe distant way with audience members participating while still staying in their seats.
For more information on the Tristan Crist Magic Theatre visit www.LakeGenevaMagic.com or call the box office at (262) 248-0505.