Brookings' own Reza will headline two benefit shows this weekend for the Brookings County Red Cross.
The Brookings Red Cross is having a party, and staff and volunteers are inviting the entire community to stop by.
Brookings' own Reza Borchardt, one of the hottest young illusionists in the country, will star in a pair of benefit shows for the county Red Cross chapter.
The performances take place this Friday and Saturday, March 5 and 6, at the Brookings High School auditorium. Both begin at 7 p.m.
Along with Reza's action-packed stage show, the evening will also offer an assortment of silent auction items, including autographed memorabilia from the casts of "Desperate Housewives" and "NCIS," "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest and illusionists David Copperfield and David Blaine, among others.
All proceeds from the event will benefit the Brookings County chapter of the American Red Cross.
"We've had to support a few disasters locally ," said Pat Powers, chapter executive, "and the fundraiser is intended to keep us operating in emergencies.
"All the money we raise will support our activities right here in Brookings County."
The weekend benefit is "a little more special," Powers said, because of the involvement of Reza, who hasn't performed his full-stage show in his hometown "for four or five years."
In that time, Reza Borchardt, the young magician who began his career at 7 performing card tricks at friends' and neighbors' birthday parties, has become one of the nation's top illusionists.
With his Las Vegas-style show, Reza has been seen and heard by millions in television and radio appearances, and his live performances have filled theaters in 31 countries.
Don't go expecting to see this magician wearing a cape or pulling flowers from a cheap magic wand. He's well beyond that.
Reza's show includes magic, comedy, mentalism and audience participation, and his performances include full-scale , "grand illusions."
The entertainer has won raves for his motorcycle illusion a split-second "materialization" during which he appears out of thin air and on a revving motorcycle. He has stunned crowds as he appears to walk through plate steel. 'Magician prodigy'
The Bismarck Tribune calls him a "magician prodigy."
As a boy of 6, Reza was inspired to become a magician by watching an elementary school magic show in Brookings. After getting a magic kit for his next birthday, he immediately began practicing, often for hours a day. At a time when most children were out playing, Reza kept himself occupied by honing his skill and practicing his craft.
"I was very shy as a child," he says. "Magic allowed me to express myself in a unique way. By the time I was a freshman in high school, I knew this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life." Playing Branson at 15
As Reza's skills improved, his audiences grew. By the age of 14, Reza was landing significant shows performing for resorts and large corporations. On his 15th birthday, Reza left Brookings to perform a six-week run in Branson, Mo., the live-entertainment capital of the world. It was a grueling, 18-show-a-week schedule, but it helped him perfect his gift for entertaining.
After Branson, one opportunity led to the next; and as the doors began to open, Reza's style took on a fresh and cutting-edge feel. The lighting and production values of his shows were on a par with any in the business, and with a largely original show and an appealing stage presence, Reza began selling out theaters. And the entertainment world began to take notice.
Reza is now recognized as one of the fastest-rising stars in the industry, thrilling audiences across the nation.
Reza is the son of Ron and Pouran Borchardt. His father, who remains his publicist, is a Brookings real estate agent, and his mother is a local restaurateur and businesswoman, most recently the owner of Bagel Works.
Reza's special guest for his Brookings appearances this week will be Sioux Falls "American Idol" contestant Audri Vargas. VIP event planned
General admission tickets are $15 to $30, and special VIP tickets will be $50 each. VIP admission will entitle the ticketholder to a pre-show VIP meet-andgreet event with Reza and Red Cross volunteers.
This pre-show event will include a pizza party and free gifts on arrival. It will also provide show-goers an opportunity to view the amazing silent auction items, which include autographed celebrity items as well as locally donated items.
The VIP sessions take place at 5:30 p.m. in the BHS cafeteria before each performance.
Tickets for the shows are available online at the Brookings Red Cross Website at www.Brookings arc.org or by calling the office at 692-6772 . Tickets are also available at Century 21, Best Choice Real Estate, Brookings Radio and the Brookings Red Cross office.