Marianas Variety

Last updateThu, 21 Jun 2018 12am







    Wednesday, June 20, 2018-2:19:38P.M.






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‘Magic Rocks’ grand opening today at SandCastle

“MAGIC Rocks” will have its grand opening today, Thursday, April 20, at the SandCastle, Hyatt Regency Saipan.

The show features and stars Leon Etienne, dubbed by some entertainment industry critics as “America’s Rock Illusionist.”

Illusionist Leon Etienne is performing at SandCastle five nights a week.  Contributed photoIllusionist Leon Etienne is performing at SandCastle five nights a week. Contributed photo

It is produced and directed by Baldyga Group founder Mark Baldyga and Chuck McCarroll, the group director of entertainment, in collaboration with Etienne himself.

The choreographer is Francine Saymo and the lighting designer is TJ Mendiola, both are based at SandCastle Guam with the Baldyga Group.

Baldyga said the grand opening will present an original production developed especially for Saipan.

He said the show combines the expertise of the highly accomplished SandCastle production team together with Leon’s incredible rock illusions.

He said Etienne has performed for thousands of people covering six continents on some of the biggest stages in the world: Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas and The Mega Magic Theater at Studio City Casino in Macau.

Etienne is the three-time U.S. Magician of the Year and three-time Entertainer of the Year and Stage Magic Champion.

He has performed for millions of TV viewers appearing as a finalist on “America’s Got Talent,” “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” “Penn & Teller’s Fool Us,” “Masters of Illusion” and “Wizard Wars.”

Performing alongside Etienne is his stunning and highly skilled magic assistant, Chelsea LaCongo.

The grand opening will also feature the beautiful SandCastle dancers from the U.S. and abroad who will bring a fun, sexy, and playful feel to a show that is a high-octane intersection of original magic, award-winning sleight of hand and the best grand illusions in the world, Baldyga said.

Magic Rocks, which had a soft opening on April 4, 2017, is the newest entertainment and tourist attraction on Saipan.

SandCastle director for entertainment Chuck McCarroll said: “Magic Rocks is an entirely new and fresh show concept for Saipan and the entire region.”

He said the music includes classic and contemporary rock, adding that the style is entirely new for the Baldyga Group and SandCastle.

“Unlike some of the more traditional Las Vegas-style cabaret shows that SandCastle has presented in the past, Magic Rocks is a dynamic, high-energy spectacle that is exciting and hard driving for young adults and at the same time is suitable for family members of all ages,” McCarroll told Variety.

Baldyga said their show has a completely different look and feel than anything that has previously been presented in the SandCastle either in Guam or Saipan.

He said the showroom remains unique in the world with three stages and a long thrust straight into the audience, adding that it is perfect for large scale magic production in an intimate setting.

“I am so proud to be a part of the SandCastle family and a new member of the Saipan community,” Etienne said. “Bringing Magic Rocks to Saipan is a dream come true. It’s unlike any entertainment attraction that Saipan has seen. I’m so excited for locals to come out and see the show. We have already had tremendous support from the local community, and I can’t wait to see how that grows.”

SandCastle operations manager Jojo Valencia said the entrance fee for locals is $66 for the show only and $88 for the dinner show.

“We always want to provide something special for our local residents and visitors. After the show, everyone has a chance to come up on stage for a meet-and-greet with the tiger,” Valencia said.

The show is held every day except Monday and Thursday. Show times are 6 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. for the dinner show. For show only, it’s 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. for the first show and 8:45 p.m. to 10 p.m. for the second show.

According to Valencia, some of their dancers have been on island for a long time, and the stage crew led by Ronel Macalinao, a Saipan resident, are all born and trained on island.

“We offer great rates for locals and anyone can feel free to call me for reservation or great seats,” Valencia said.

Baldyga said their company is pleased and honored to have been supported by the local community for 15 years.

“We appreciate everyone’s support from the great folks at the Hyatt to the terrific job done by the Marianas Visitors Authority and of course all of the wonderful local support we have had over the years. Please join us as we rock Saipan to all new levels,” Baldyga said.

For more information, call 233-7263.