WHEELING - Wheeling's own internationally-renowned "extraordinist" Craig Karges returns to the Capitol Theatre stage for a special, one-show only appearance to mystify audiences and benefit Oglebay Institute.
An award-winning entertainer, nationally recognized speaker and author, who has appeared in 17 countries on four continents and in all 50 states, Karges dramatizes the unknown, the unexplained and the unbelievable. Tables float, minds are read, metal bends and your imagination is challenged because you won't believe your eyes!
Karges, a Wheeling native, will bring his show "Experience the Extraordinary" along with never-before-seen material to the Capitol Theatre May 26 at 7 p.m. All seats are just $20 and can be purchased by calling the Wesbanco Arena Box Office at 304-233-4470 or at ticketmaster.com.
Thanks to a corporate sponsorship from Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC and the fact that Karges is donating the show, 100 percent of the ticket sales benefit Oglebay Institute and the Museums of Oglebay Institute.
By combining the art of magic with the science of psychology and the power of intuition, Karges creates the impression that nothing is impossible. Dennis Miller, comedian and media personality, put it this way after seeing Karges perform, "This weirds me out!"
From the entertainment oriented Tonight Show to the news oriented Larry King Live, Karges has made over 40 national television appearances. He has appeared on CNN Headline News, Fox News Channel, CNBC, E! Entertainment Television, Lifetime Television, Wisdom Television and even SOAPnet! The extraordinist has starred in two, one-hour television specials. The sheer number and diversity of Karges' television appearances is indicative of his widespread popularity.
Performance, the international touring talent weekly, named Craig Karges' touring show, "Experience the Extraordinary," one of the top five, variety/family shows in North America. Karges was in good company as the list also included the likes of illusionist David Copperfield and Disney on Ice. Performance magazine called the extraordinist's performance "The next era in mystery entertainment." American Entertainment Magazine named him one of the top five variety entertainers on the corporate circuit.
Many local residents got a glimpse of Karges' mystifying show during the September 2009 grand reopening of the Capitol Theatre. He flew in special from a tour date in Toronto to participate in the festivities and support his hometown.
"It was a great night. I was honored to be on the bill," Karges said. "That night I only performed for 10 minutes. May 26 will be a 90 minute show so audiences will definitely see a lot more."
What exactly can audiences expect from the show? According to Karges, "all sorts of weird and unusual things will happen" from floating tables to mind reading.
With a performance philosophy of "entertaining through the creation of mystery and opening minds to unlimited possibilities," Karges said his main goal is to entertain, but he also wants "to get people to question what is possible and what is impossible, to create a feeling of wonder in my audience."
Another popular aspect of Karges' show is total audience participation. "It's not just me on stage. Everything I do involves at least one audience member; so you'll see your friends, family and maybe even yourself directly involved in the show."
Karges performs between 100 135 shows each year and audiences range from college co-eds to NASA engineers. All are equally impressed with his showmanship.
"It's an unusual show. You just don't see this type of thing everyday. Plus, it gets people talking and can lead to some interesting discussions," Karges said. "'How did he do it?' 'I think it's real.' 'Well, I think it's a trick.' That sort of thing. It's definitely a conversation starter."
Karges and his wife Charlotte are members of Oglebay Institute and have been actively involved in Institute-sponsored programs for years. In fact, Charlotte was recently named chairperson of the Mansion Museum Committee.
Karges said he was motivated to organize this benefit show because "Oglebay Institute is one of Wheeling's real treasures. They do so much for so many. If you can't find anything to do in Wheeling, you're not a member of Oglebay Institute. The fact that we have one of the oldest arts councils in the country right here in our town is special."
Although he travels worldwide, Karges gets especially energized while performing for his hometown.
"I want my hometown shows to be special. I'm really looking forward to this show. I've developed some special never-before-seen material. The Capitol Theatre is an awesome venue, that along with Oglebay Institute, is one of Wheeling's treasures."
He added that although he is not getting paid to do the benefit, "I'm putting more effort into this show than anything I've done in quite a while. I really want to be at my best for my hometown at the Capitol on May 26."