Calen Morelli, a famous magician you’d normally have to go to Las Vegas to see, will be doing two special shows June 28 and 29 at the Maupin Legion Hall as a fundraiser for the building.
Morelli, a world-traveling magician with roots in Maupin and parents Tony and Suzie Morelli in The Dalles, will be putting on the shows at 8 p.m. both nights.
Morelli, 26, grew up mostly in Boardman but when his family was living in his grandparent’s basement in Maupin, he was watching a show by magician David Blaine “thinking that some day he would like to design illusions for him, not knowing how he would ever get there,” his aunt Sara Morelli told the Chronicle via email.
Sara and husband Tim now live in that house, and Calen “is coming to stay with us for the weekend shows and will be in the basement, knowing that whole scene is now realized,” she said.
Tickets for the show are $30 individuals or $50 per couple pre-sale (available at Maupin Market, Tygh Valley General Store and Wamic store) or $35 per person and $60 per couple at the door. Seating capacity for each show is 150.
A group working to restore the Legion have replaced about 20 windows and have nine more to go. Insulating the building would cost about $16,000, a new heating system will cost about $10,000, and they also hope to move the bathrooms off the stage—you read that right—and do a remodel with new ADA restrooms. That will cost about $30,000.
Calen is donating his time because his grandparents, the late Thomas and Geraldine Morelli of Maupin, were Legionnaires, Sara Morelli said.
His work has taken him to South Africa, London, Japan, China and Australia as well as throughout the U.S., she said.
Hopes are that “someone might be interested in matching the fundraising event so we can fully insulate the Legion and proceed with other much-needed work to make the hall an efficient and economical gathering place for the community,” Sara Morelli said.
One blurb on the internet says Morelli’s “brand of viral magic has made him an internet sensation, garnering millions of views, likes and shares. His break-out success has also led him to become the face and hands of a series of Samsung commercials.”
A bio of Morelli on famousstarbirthdays.com says he “became known as the most creative magician of his generation, specializing in disappearing acts and Matrix Levitation. He went viral for his YouTube video where he made weed disappear in front of a cop.”
The bio notes he got involved in magic after watching David Blaine’s Drowned Alive TV special.
Sara Morelli, recounted of Calen’s younger years, “When he was messing around with playing cards and would do magic tricks with them, he would wow us pretty good.”
When Calen graduated from high school he had pressure to go to college “for back-up if his magic didn’t work out. His Uncle Tim and I encouraged him to do what he loves and it will never seem like work. We may have been the only two people that told him college isn’t for everyone, I don’t know, but we were sure he had a gift, and boy Bob howdy! He does!”
His parents moved to Maupin after he graduated and his two younger sisters graduated from high school there.