Clipper Staff Writer
WEST BOUNTIFUL — There are no stuffy top hats at this magic show.
Craig Dransfield, also known as the comedy magician Al Durango, will offer a free performance June 14 at 7 p.m. at West Bountiful City Hall. According to Dransfield, his Durango character is just as focused on getting laughs as he is dazzling the audience.
“This is a wild-eyed, crazy, everything goes wrong kind of act,” he said. “They could throw a tomato at me, and I would somehow work it into the show.”
Though he would prefer no tomatoes, Al Durango does encourage the people watching the show to get involved.
“As a magician, I like lots and lots of audience participation,” he said. “The whole thing’s just loose. It’s great for the whole family.”
Dransfield, a regular performer at West Bountiful Arts Council events, first discovered magic when he should have been studying the violin.
“I was taking violin lessons, and at the end the teacher would show me a magic trick as a reward for coming to the lesson,” said Dransfield with a laugh. “I never learned to play the violin, but I became a magician.”
His first stage performance was for a family in Las Vegas who helped Dransfield’s parents when their car broke down.
“I was so petrified I decided to do the whole thing silent,” he said. “But that didn’t last very long, and once the ice broke I created a monster.”
He refined his Al Durango character while performing nightly in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Dransfield would often serve as a warm-up act for other performers.
“They just kind of threw me onstage,” he said. “It started with the cowboy hat, and before I knew it there was chaps and rope spinning.”
He encourages people of all ages to come out and see the show, even if they’re normally dismissive of magicians.
“People tend to think magic acts are kids’ shows, but this is comedy,” he said. “I want to get everyone out there so they can see for themselves.”
West Bountiful City Hall is located at 550 N. 800 West.