Pittsburgh-born Illusionist Performs on New TV Program | Program Notes

Pittsburgh-born Illusionist Performs on New TV Program

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Tonight, on the premiere of the CW’s new stage-magic show Masters of Illusion, Michael Grandinetti will walk through steel.

Michael Grandinettis 360 Degree Levitation
  • Photo courtesy of Andrew Ardans
  • Michael Grandinetti's "360 Degree Levitation"
Or, at the very least, he will appear to walk through a specially designed, 7-foot-tall, 4-foot-wide, inch-thick, 200-pound slab of steel. And it only makes sense that the Duquesne grad, who grew up in West Mifflin, would choose such a stunt to represent himself on national television. “Coming from Pittsburgh,” he said, “steel was always just the first thing that came to mind.”

Grandinetti’s credits include NFL halftime shows, Pirates games and being the first illusionist ever to join the National Independence Day parade, in 2013. Prior to Masters of Illusion, he performed on Entertainment Tonight, SportsCenter and NBC’s The World’s Most Dangerous Magic. But Masters of Illusion provides him with a rare new opportunity to show off his illusions from all sides.

Michael Grandinetti
  • Photo courtesy of Alan Mercer
  • Michael Grandinetti
The program first aired in the early 2000s on Pax TV, and this CW iteration is its second revival, but with a few important tweaks. It’s still Las Vegas-style stage magic filmed in front of a live studio audience in Hollywood, but this time, they’re bringing in celebrity host Dean Cain, and filming many of the illusions (including “Walking Through Steel”) from all angles by using hand-held cameras.

Said Grandinetti, “a lot of people think they’re being fooled because it’s TV, so I wanted to give the home viewers something that not even the studio audience can see.”

Other illusions he filmed for the series include the “360-Degree Levitation,” the “Mid-Air Vanish” and a classic party trick originally belonging to Orson Welles. Other performers on the show include Jonathan Pendragon and Rich Ferguson, whose sleight-of-hand tricks have earned him more than 15 world records.

You can catch the series premiere tomorrow at 8 p.m. on the CW, or on subsequent Fridays at the same time.

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