Magician Gary Laramore has been taking his imaginative magic "dog and pony show" around town this week, performing for kids and passers-by - and even writers in the Billings Gazette newsroom - in anticipation of his pair of Saturday shows at the Alberta Bair Theater.
The seasoned actor and stunt man says what sets his show apart is the "action adventure" theme.
With contemporary dress and language, rather than the old-school tux-and-tie and smoke and fire, Laramore says, "I think we have something with a different angle."
With respect to David Copperfield and the other greats of the industry, he says, "I am trying hard to come up with new approaches to the old magic act, with a modern movie-like look rather than guys rolling out a box and cutting a girl in half."
He says he has beefed up the technique and given the magic show "a stylish, hip approach that I think kids can bring their parents to."
On tap will be twists on magic games, fire and spikes, he says, "and lots of surprises - I don't want to blow my big opening."
He says he's a lifelong film fan and has borrowed from the flash and dash of Hollywood. Based in Los Angeles, Laramore has appeared in several films, including "Tombstone."
Laramore, 34, is a native of Tucson, Ariz., but was raised in Gillette, Wyo., where he still has family. He has performed in the region, but never Billings. A recent tour involved sold-out houses in Asia, and the eastern seaboard of the United States.
This is first tour of the Rockies. Billings is the last stop of the gig, which began in Gillette and included performances in Mitchell, S.D., Powell, Tucson and Houston.
In the act with Laramore is Truly Magyar, also of L.A., playing the indispensable part of the beautiful sidekick and magic partner.
Laramore says the two of them "spent a lot of time in the clubs of Los Angeles taking it all in and getting a reading on what works and new ways with magic."
The actor says his show, "The Magic of The Laramores," has been enjoyed by thousands of people around the world. He says he is earning a unique niche because of his offbeat approach.
"I'd call it a blend of comedy, magic and grand illusion," he says.
Tickets for Gary Laramore's inventive magic act are on sale at the Alberta Bair Theater for the two Saturday shows. (406) 256-6052. Prices are $10 for adults and $8 for children under 12 and seniors over 60. Curtain times are 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. .