There's a new show hitting Chicago from Down Under that goes down underliterally. The Naked Magic Show is literally losing its pants on tour with magicians Christopher Wayne and Mike Tyler. Flying in all the way from Australia, these two are making their way to the Windy City.
Wayne began as magician for a kids TV program before having his own TV series More Than Magic. He spent four years as the head comedy writer for the radio show B105.
Tyler was a swimmer competing at the Pan Pacific Games before landing his magic act.
Windy City Times: Hi, guys. What is the history of this magic act and what are your backgrounds?
Christopher Wayne: Mike and I both had individual and successful careers as entertainers. I spent about eight years as a TV and stage magician, and a comedy writer for TV and radio. Mike was a high end corporate comedy magician and hypnotist. A lot of people think this show is just a cheeky gimmick, but magic is our first love and audiences should expect to see some mind blowing and hilarious tricks.
This act came to life after Mike and myself started talking about experiences as magicians, and for Mike, he had a lot of people making "Magic Mike" jokes because of his job and name. Then we realized that in the history of magic, nobody had ever made a naughty magic show. The rest is history, a very crazy, very wild history.
WCT: Were you friends before this?
CW: I am proud to say that Mike and myself are best friends, onstage and off. Because of our friendship, we are having as much fun on stage as the audience is having. The last two and a bit years have been the most extraordinary of our lives, and its so incredible to be able to go on that journey with my best friend and share that experience.
Mike Tyler: We were best mates before this. Audience members we meet after the show often comment on the genuine dynamic and energy between us on stage, which I think comes from this friendship. I never thought I'd be getting naked with my best mate every night!
WCT: Do audiences love your Australian accents?
CW: I don't want to be arrogant, but American audiences especially love our Aussie accents. Believe me when I tell you that I am in love with American accents. I think when we are in America we find ourselves sounding extra Aussie just to milk it a bit.
MT: We know Americans generally like the exotic ruggedness of the Aussie accent. It helps that you've been exposed to the accent of celebrities like Hugh Jackman and Chris Hemsworth. Sometimes the accent helps get free hotel room upgrades or seats with extra leg room on planes. "G'day mate!"
WCT: Are you Kylie Minogue fans?
MT: Get a few drinks in me and I'll do the "Loco-Motion" with you.
WCT: Have notable Australian personalities RuPaul Drag Racer Courtney Act, Pam Anne or Dame Edna ever been to your shows before?
CW: We have a big gay following in Australia but, to be honest, I wouldn't be able to tell you if those people have been to our shows or not. So many people have seen our magic wands over the last two years, it's hard to know who has or hasn't seen us naked now.
MT: We were opening act for Steve-O, from Jackass, when he performed in Australia, so he got a chance to witness some naked magic on stage.
WCT: Are either of you openly gay?
CW: We are both active supporters of LGBT rights; that was important to us before we did this show, and it's important now, too! We are both straight and single, and ready to fall in love with Americans!
MT: I'm a hot-blooded straight male. As for girlfriends, wives or partners, I'm in a relationship with my career at the moment. My sole focus is traveling the world making thousands of people laugh every night.
WCT: What else besides a rabbit do you pull of that hat?
CW: Audiences can expect to see a lot more than just a rabbit being pulled out of a hat. Expect to laugh until you need to pee, expect to see incredible magic, and expect to see to naked Aussies who are traveling half way across the world to give you the best show of your life.
MT: A magician needs his secrets. You'll need to come to The Naked Magic Show to see that. So long as you don't have the air-con too cold, we guarantee you won't be disappointed.
WCT: Describe the show in general.
CW: This is Magic Mike with real magic. Need I say any more?
There are two favorites. We are proud to have a trick in the show that literally involved every single audience member, where the magic happens completely in their hands. So when you come to The Naked Magic Show, don't just expect to watch some amazing magic, expect to be a very big part of it.
MT: The show is a high-energy roller-coaster ride of incredible magic, non-stop laughs and cheeky nudity. All the magic is-themed around those naughty conversation topics you discuss after a few wines with close friends. It's designed for anyone with a cheeky side to their personality and who wants to see an orgy of magic, comedy, and nudity. Most audience members leave with a sore jaw… from laughing.
WCT: So there is a lot of audience participation?
MT: Every single trick we perform involves volunteers from the audience, whether they're on stage helping us get naked, or participating in an interactive trick in the audience. One trick even involves throwing a huge inflatable cock around the room to fairly select willing volunteers.
We're always respectful of our audience and assure you that we are the only ones who get naked.
WCT: What is your favorite magic trick on the tour?
CW: I don't say this lightly: Our finale is the funniest, most magical, most shocking thing that you will ever see in your life. That's all I will say about it, but there is no more enjoyable moment for Mike, myself, or the audience.
MT: My favorite trick is a fun, naughty, interactive trick that we designed to be a very special moment that happens entirely in the hands of every audience member. Everyone receives a small gift as they enter the theatre that we use for the trick and can be kept as a souvenir to take home.
WCT: Do the tricks change throughout the tour?
CW: The show is always evolving and, really, because of the amount of audience participation, the show is different every night.
If we aren't performing, we are always talking about new ideas for the show.
MT: We spent a year creating this as a well structured, hilarious, cheeky magic show. Since inception, we've developed the show further to add more nudity, more laughs, and more magic moments with literal screaming moments in the show. While the tricks are consistent between each city, the show is a bit different each night depending on the interaction from the audience and the volunteers we have on stage. This is partly the reason we love performing it so much.
WCT: First time in Chicago?
CW: Yes, and I cannot wait! I absolutely love America, and Chicago has been on my list for some time.
MT: It's my first time in Chicago, too, and I'm very excited!
As part of this tour we'll be performing in over 30 cities across the U.S.; most of them I've never visited before. We've been told we should go for a jog around Navy Pier and Millennium Park to keep fit and so there's something good for the audience to look at when we get naked on stage.
CW: When The Naked Magic Show comes to town, I want to rename it the "Wandy City!"
Wander over to Park West, 322 W. Armitage Ave. on Friday, April 29, for 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. shows of The Naked Magic Show. Visit www.Etix.com or call 800-514-3849 for tickets.