Showmanship and a sense of the ‘weird’ make Van Baltus’ magic shows so amazing

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Howard Van Baltus has a sizeable backup cast of dancers and assistants to keep the action going. Photo: Courtesy

Howard Van Baltus, the renowned American magician and illusionist, is pulling out all the stops with his new production.

“Van Baltus: My Secret World” debuts 8 p.m. Thursday, April 20, when the Teatro Libertad stage in Santiago fills with lights, smoke, music, dancers and mesmerizing feats of magic. 

“I am thrilled to be returning to the stage once again and sharing my passion for magic and illusions with my audience,” said Van Baltus. “I have been working tirelessly to create a show that will exceed all expectations and leave a lasting impression on everyone who sees it.”

Howard Van Baltus has a sizeable backup cast of dancers and assistants to keep the action going. Photo: Courtesy

The Philadelphia native has captivated audiences for decades with his unique and mesmerizing performances. Spectators are always in awe over Van Baltus’ combination of magic, music, dance, art, culture, and many grand illusions.

Van Baltus’ new show promises to be one of his most impressive yet, featuring an array of spectacular tricks and illusions that will leave audiences guessing and wanting more. From classic card tricks to mind-bending illusions, Van Baltus will leave no stone unturned in his quest to keep his audience in suspense. 

At times weirdly beautiful, Howard Van Baltus’ magic show pulls out all the stops. Photo: Courtesy

Van Baltus’ impressive showmanship is due to his remarkable ability to engage and interact with his audience. His performances have been described as “mind-boggling,” “mesmerizing,” and “truly unforgettable.” 

He also says he likes to keep things a little “weird.” That was the case at a recent Merida English Library wine-tasting event when Van Baltus opened up his home for an audience of about 75. He decided to demonstrate his version of a Harry Houdini-esque escape act that had him locked in a metal chamber filled with water. 

Howard Van Baltus, in his Mérida home, and his water chamber inspired by Harry Houdini. His act caused alarm among his crew at one performance when he lost track of time and took an extra minute to escape. Photo: Lee Steele / Yucatán Magazine

His death-defying performance briefly panicked his crew when he took an extra minute to escape. But the act was second nature to Van Baltus, who says he simply lost track of time while holding his breath and breaking through the locks.

Howard Van Baltus has a wall of magicians’ tools at home. Photo: Lee Steele / Yucatán Magazine


“I gotta tell you, the first, second or third time I got in there, it was weird,” Van Baltus recalls. “It was like, you feel so isolated and completely alone. Now you hear some vibrations outside there, but you’re mostly with your own thoughts.”

Baltus uses many large-scale props to perform his suspenseful illusions, which he describes as “magic tricks, but in a very big way.”

The Van Baltus home in Mérida. Photo: Lee Steele / Yucatán Magazine

“It’s not just a magic show, there have to be other elements involved,” he said, adding that he has cast a group of about 20 dancers and acrobats to keep the action going between the acts of magic. 

His long-term goal is inspired by Las Vegas, where artists are in residence. That means Van Baltus would have a permanent space and raise the curtain on an ongoing basis.  

Purchase tickets at Tus Boletos to witness the magic and showmanship of Howard Van Baltus. 

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