THE DINNER IN THE DARK IMMERSIVE GAME EXPERIENCE
An Elliott Hitchcock & Magical Journeys' Production
A division of Magical Arts and Design, LLC
THE ELEVATOR PITCH
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Magical Journeys takes you back in time to historical events where you'll have high impact adventures and meet and interact with legendary characters. Our dinner adventures are games designed for a fully immersive experience, without ever leaving your dinner seat. Fasten your seat belts for a memory that'll last a lifetime!
Magical Journeys takes you back in time to historical events where you'll have high impact adventures and meet and interact with legendary characters. Our dinner adventures are games designed for a fully immersive experience, without ever leaving your dinner seat. Fasten your seat belts for a memory that'll last a lifetime!
Introducing Magical Journeys. MJ, Inc. is the division of MAD Show Systems that produces unique immersive international adventures. An Evening with Howard Hughes is our premiere show opening in Las Vegas. It'll be followed by different and unique shows in Chicago, New York, Orlando, Los Angeles, and London.
Please contact our production office should you wish to have a customized experience; we can take you and your guests places never before imagined. The past holds treasured memories, the future boundless adventure.
Thank you for engaging with Magical Journeys for your immersive adventures. Now, stow your tray tables, bring your seats to the upright position, its time to depart!
A Four-course Gourmet Meal... in the DARK!
After making your reservation for An Evening with Howard Hughes, the Adventurer's App gets downloaded. On it, you'll receive important information ranging from wine and food selections (vegan included) to hints, game clues, and answers to your current adventure into the past.
Howard Hughes, Escape the Darkness
Script in development. Confidential, writer Chris Philpott
Just outside the room, guests have their photos taken against a backdrop featuring the name, city, and visual design for the show.
They are led into an elegant room with white tablecloths, vases with large bouquets of roses, a stack of champagne glasses on a table at the back of the room, a large portrait of Howard Hughes as a dashing young man, and an elegant grandfather clock. Newspaper clippings showing Hughes in the headlines, some joyous and some sad, like the crash of the X-11 and his divorce and death. There is an X-Ray of Hughes’s arms and legs showing tips of needles from self-injecting pain-killer stuck in his body. There’s a shelf with a row of champagne bottles on one wall. Elegant, interesting vintage boxes are at the center of each tables, each with note reading, “Do not open until instructed to do so.” 1940's swing music plays in the background.
Once seated, (all guests have pre-ordered from the app menu). The smell of food is in the air. The first, The Howard Hughes, is a New York strip steak, dinner salad, and peas, but only the smaller peas, which is what he ate later life every night. Other dishes are named after some of the famous actresses he dated: The Katherine Hepburn, Ava Gardner and Jean Peters.
You will be instructed to place your cell phone in a Faraday cage bank bag and lean it against the vase on the table in front of you. The bag is locked, the key returned at the end of the first act. The Faraday cage functioning of the bags cuts off cell phone signal reception, guaranteeing uninterrupted shows and no sudden, unwanted light appearance during lights out.
Bread and wine is served.
The Host points to a box on a rope hanging above the stage. “This is Howard Hughes’ will. We will open it later, and you will all play a role in getting us there. This will become clear in time, but for now, please pay close attention.”
Lights are dimmed but do not go out. A small spot stays on the box throughout the evening.
A short film is projected outlining Howard Hughes’ life. As a boy, Howard was a mediocre student but a mechanical genius. He used to build small mechanical and electric toys and machines. He once built a radio out parts taken from appliances around the house including the family doorbell. Years later, Hughes recalled the moment he discovered it actually worked as one of the “greatest thrills” of his life.
His mother was coddling and obsessed about Howard’s health. His father was obsessed with making money. They both died when he was in his teens.
He took his inherited wealth and moved to Hollywood, started making movies, including such ground-breaking films as Hell’s Angels (inspired by his love of aviation), Scarface (inspired by his love of power) and The Outlaw (inspired by, well, you know).
He dated famous actresses... many actresses: Ava Gardner, Olivia de Havilland, Katharine Hepburn, Hedy Lamarr, Ginger Rogers, Rita Hayworth… but it was Jean Peters who stole his heart (there several clips out there of people saying “She was the only woman who he ever really loved.”) In this sequence, we linger on a paparazzi shot of Howard and Jean talking intimately at the Coconut Grove in Hollywood.
We scan over some of his wide-ranging interests which include Hughes’ friendship with longtime employee George Van Tassel and how Hughes helped fund The Integratron, a time travel machine.
He also used his considerable money and power to influence elections. It’s believed by many historians that one of the main reasons the Watergate burglars broke into the Democratic National Convention offices was to find evidence of Hughes’ bribes to Democratic campaign officials. The film ends with his seclusion, OCD, drug addiction (he called his needle his plaything and would often sing “Hey! Ba Ba Re Bop” while slowly injecting codeine).
Over time, Howard’s servants, nicknamed The Mormon Mafia switched allegiance from Hughes to the heads of The Hughes Corporation in return for large sums of money. The servants controlled not only what people and what information reached Hughes, but what got out as well. They vetted ever letter he wrote and only allowed certain phone calls to go through. The first movie ends with his divorce from Jean Peters, his death, and the confusion over the different versions of his will.
First course: Salad at The Coconut Grove Nightclub, July Fourth, 1946.
As the first course is being served, the Host explains, “As we eat our meal, in total darkness, we are going to be doing a little time traveling. For our first course, you are invited to join Mr. Howard Hughes at The Coconut Grove Nightclub, July Fourth, 1946. Some of the biggest names in Hollywood are here tonight: Cary Grant, Bette Davis, James Cagney, Jean Harlow and Jimmy Stewart. Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra are playing live on the stage. But the real significance of this evening for our story is that this is the night Howard Hughes met his future wife, Jean Peters. So, take one last look to remember where your plates and wine glasses are, make sure to choose the right fork, and welcome to The Coconut Grove.”
And with a swirl of light and sound, we enter darkness. Out of the aural chaos, we begin to hear distant music and voices, getting closer. A big band plays, and there is table chatter. Out of the din, we zero in on the sounds of Howard Hughes dining with some movie star friends. Hughes’ most recent picture, The Outlaw, had recently been released after a five-year battle with the censor board over Jane Russell’s cleavage. But Hughes seems more interested in talking about his new airplane. The band starts playing their new hit, “Hey! Ba Ba Re Bop.” Hughes trails off mid-sentence. His friends ask him what’s wrong – then they notice an attractive woman walking toward their table. “Excuse me.” His friends make a few comments about what an insatiable womanizer he is.
Hughes accosts Jean Peters and introduces himself. She knows who he is, but is surprised that he knows her. “I own a movie studio, Miss Peters. I have to keep up on the business. I know you won a beauty pageant at a country fair and the prize was a trip to Hollywood and a screen test for 20th Century Fox. You left to go back home to college, but they tracked you down, told you that you were under contract and dragged you back here. You’re about to shoot your first film opposite Tyrone Power. Not a bad start for someone who never wanted to be a movie star.”
She replies, “Do you follow everyone in the business so closely, Mr. Hughes, or just those who won beauty pageants?”
The two of them spar verbally, like a forties’ romance meet-cute, but it’s obvious they have immediate chemistry. He tries to pick her up, as he always did, but she is a good girl from the country and puts him off. The more she puts him off, something he is not used to, the more impressed he is with her.
She turns the power game on its head by getting into his head. “You’ve dated the most glamorous women in the world, and very many of them, and, I assume, a great many more that aren’t famous enough to make it into the gossip magazines. You’re the richest man in the country. You had a ticker tape parade. If anyone in the world should be content if what they’ve accomplished, it should be you. Instead, you’re acting like a child begging for another piece of cake. What is this hole in your life you’re trying to fill?”
There’s a pause, then he says, “In three days, I’m test-flying my new plane, the X-11. Would you like to come with me?”
“No. Good-bye, Mr. Hughes.”
“Jean, you’re the only one who’s noticed there’s a hole in my life.”
“Please don’t tell me I’m the only one who can fill it.”
“I won’t. But will you at least have dinner with me?”
“I’ll call you right after my flight.”
“I assume a man like you will be able to find my phone number.” She walks away and we swirl out of the scene.
Second Course: The Polo Lounge, Beverly Hills Hotel, Howard and Jean’s Wedding Reception, January 12, 1957.
As the Host sets the scene, the entrée is served, and wine refilled.
Eleven and a half years after their first meeting, and many on-again, off-again relationships, on the morning of January 12th, Hughes, Jean Peters and some of Howard’s business associates, most of whom, Jean had never met, boarded one of Hughes’ Constellation aircraft and flew to the nearly-abandoned mining town of Tonopah, Nevada. They went to an old motel where a justice of the peace married them. Jean never knew why Howard wanted to marry here, and she never asked. Then they got back on the plane and flew back to LA, where they dined together, along with one of Jeans’ friends who was also staying at the hotel, Marilyn Monroe.
He has vowed off his playboy ways. Jean has revealed herself as a very motherly, caring person–a bit like his own mother.
The newlyweds are interrupted by George Van Tassel, an old friend and employee, who is following up on his pitch to Howard on The Integratron, his idea for a time travel machine. Howard thinks seems far-fetched, and George points out how many times Hughes has done things that seemed far-fetched, such as flying around the world in 91 hours, or building The Hercules aircraft, the largest plane ever built. “People said it couldn’t be done, until you did it. Time is a fluid and mysterious thing. What is chance, and what is destiny? This could be your destiny.”
Hughes considers this. “Call me Monday.”
Meanwhile, Jean has a private conversation with Marilyn. Jean confesses she’s going to give up being an actress to focus on being a wife.
“Is that what you really want to do?” asks Marilyn. “Is playing sexy but stupid women what you want to do?”
“No, not really. But it’s not the worst price to pay for being rich and famous."
“Well now I’ll be rich, but not famous. I’ll see if that’s any better. Anyway, I can’t complain. I got to kiss Marlon Brando. You had to kiss Tom Ewell.” They laugh.
Later, Howard and Jean have a private conversation. Jean says that now that they are man and wife, they can’t have secrets from each other anymore. He responds, “Uh oh. I think for your sake, you should let me keep some of my old secrets, secret.”
She pushes him: “Tell me something no one else knows about you.”
They trade several secrets. This leads to him confessing his intense OCD. She, of course has already noticed, and vows to help him get over it. He worries that it is too late.
Third Course: Dessert with Howard Hughes in the penthouse suite of The Desert Inn, Las Vegas, June 5th, 1968.
As host is setting the scene, the dessert and coffee is served.
Another eleven and a half years have gone by. Howard Hughes is in an OCD, paranoia, and drug-induced isolation. He has not seen his wife Jean in several years. The new CEO of his empire, Bob Maheu, has never met him face-to-face–they speak strictly by phone, letter or tape-recorded messages. They only people allowed to see Hughes are his The Mormon Mafia servants, who are not allowed to speak to him directly unless he asks them a question, and are under strict rules about how to behave to ensure that no germs can possibly get to Hughes. The windows are sealed shut with tape and covered with dark curtains.
As we begin, Hughes is watching news reports on the shooting of Robert Kennedy–doctors are operating on him and he is clinging to life. Hughes orders a servant to get Maheu on the phone. He tells Maheu, “I hate to be quick on the draw, but I see here an opportunity that may not happen again in a lifetime. I want you to hire the entire Kennedy organization so that we can put my own man in the White House.”
Outside the room, he can hear Jean’s voice shouting angrily. He shouts out to ask what’s happening.
“Mrs. Hughes is trying break in.”
She calls to him that she has to see him. He refuses.
“Then just let me come to the door.”
After a pause, he agrees but forbids her from coming in. The TV set goes off.
They have a conversation through the door. She asks him if the stories she’s heard are true: that his hair goes all down his back, his fingernails are six inches long, he hasn’t bathed in a year, he’s surrounded by boxes of tissues and milk bottles of his own urine, he’s a drug addict and he sits naked all day, barking orders and watching movies on TV. He denies it. She’s heard that with his eccentric ways, the hotel ordered him to leave. Instead, he bought the hotel.
“And made a good profit on it – how is that eccentric?”
She says she heard he bought the local TV station so he could tell them what movies to play.
She says she’s learned the station has been playing her movies over and over. He says nothing.
“Do you know how many times I’ve come to see you since you’ve lived here? Do you know how many times I’ve written to you, or called you?”
“No. Hundreds of times.”
One of the servants says to her, “Please ma’am, it’s time to go.”
Hughes roars, “Let her speak!”
“Your servants just don’t tell you. They’re not working for you anymore, Howard. They’re working for the Los Angeles office. You think you’re in charge, but you’re in prison and they’re your guards. They keep you in the dark. That’s how they control you.”
As a servant tries to lead her out, Jean tires to get Howard to come out of the room. He says he can’t. She says maybe they can start again–he says they can’t. She asks him where it all went so wrong. He doesn’t know. She tells him that maybe there’s a way. She tells him that George Van Tassel told her that The Integratron time machine works.
“I knew it would.”
“Where did this all go wrong?”
He doesn’t know. She says goodbye.
Hughes says, “I made you something, little toys and machines, just to pass the time, but I’d like you to have them. I’ll have the servants carry them down to your car.”
“Thank you, Howard.” She walks away.
He asks for a servant for his plaything and then softly, drunkenly begins singing “Hey! Ba Ba Re Bop”.
After a few moments it takes for the guests’ eyes to adjust to the light, they notice the room has changed.
The white tablecloths are gone, replaced by doors and wooden saw horses. The bouquets of rose have all died. There are stacks of boxes of tissues stack on the tables on the edges of the room. The stack of champagne glasses has been replaced by a pile of empty cans of peas. The large portrait of Hughes as a dashing young man has been replaced by one showing him as a naked, long haired and bearded old man with six inch fingernails. The elegant grandfather clock is covered with cobwebs. The shelf with a row of champagne bottles has been replaced by a row of milk bottles filled with urine. One bottle of champagne remains.
The Host continues. “In the last years of his life, The Hughes Company wanted Howard Hughes out of the way. Hughes’ own OCD and drug-addiction did most of their work for them. Hughes’ servants, The Mormon Mafia did the rest. One person they particularly didn’t want Hughes to contact was Jean Peters – they knew she would have done whatever she could to help him. Hughes knew it too and he knew that no letter he wrote to her would arrive and no call would connect.
Some say, Hughes hatched a plan to sneak the information of how she could help him, in a coded way, hidden in innocent-looking toys or puzzles, not unlike the mechanical devices he built as a child. The servants were happy to give him all the parts he needed, believing it a harmless pastime. Some believe his toys were something like the boxes you have in front of you now. It is time to open your boxes, follow the instructions, and try to piece together just as Jean Peters might have done.”
As each box is solved, one of the team members brings it up to the front of the room where the Host writes it down in order, the person’s name and the piece of the puzzle they’ve solve on a large pad. The clues include the time: July 4th, 1946; the place: The Coconut Grove Nightclub when Jean and Howard first met; the goal: stop him from flying the X-11 three days later; the reason: to stop the accident that will leave him a drug addict; the problem: he has always test flown the planes he’s created and will strongly resist this suggestion; the solution: prove to him that she is traveling from the future.
Some boxes send the guests to find answers that have always been in the room unnoticed, such as in the newspaper clippings or the label of the one remaining bottle of champagne or even on their own plates of cutlery. Clues could be revealed in writing on the glasses. A black light reveals hidden writing that covers the tablecloth. Spilling some wine on the tablecloth could reveal a pattern with hydrophobic spray. Some of the boxes create their own magical effects: two tables create models of the Integratron, one with a wristwatch. The guests at one table put the watch in their Integratron, choose an amount of time to send back the watch, say one hour, and it turn it on–lights flash on both Integratrons–and the watch vanishes from the first to reappear in the other across the room, and it is set to one hour earlier. The “Time is fluid” line could be imprinted on one box, which has some blocks with clock hands painted on them–when they are stacked in a certain order they can be read as a code which should be able to open another box, but it doesn’t… until they fill a glass tube (also in the outer box) with water and view the clock faces through it–some of the hands reverse directions, revealing the proper code.
When the last sequence has finished, the lights dim…
A shorter version of the movie that played at the beginning of the evening now plays. The beginnings are identical. But soon they veer off in a different direction. In the paparazzi shot of Jean Peters and Hughes at The Coconut Grove in 1946, we notice Jean Peters has several objects built or discovered in the boxes. The still lasts much longer in this film and we hear voices from the club that night as we slowly zoom in on them. The dialogue begins the same way as their meeting during the first course, but veers off when Peters says “You can’t fly the X-11 in three days.”
“How do you know about that?”
“There’s a problem with the plane.”
“The plane is perfect and I always test fly my own planes. Good evening, Miss Peters.”
“Listen to me: this is going to sound insane, but one day you’re going to help build a time travel machine.”
Howard thinks that seems far-fetched, and Peters points out how many times Hughes has done things that seemed far-fetched, such as flying around the world in 91 hours? She tells him secrets she couldn’t possibly know, and ties in the solutions to all the boxes. The incident shakes Hughes, but he agrees not to fly it. We slowly zoom into an extreme close up of Hughes and in the background, we see a woman’s face looking at him: it is Jean Peters as she looked in 1968. The movie restarts. The incident leaves Hughes a changed man. He marries Peters later the same year. She works with him much earlier to manage his OCD. They live together for many years, he accomplishes many things, and he agrees to let her continue her movie career, which makes her one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. He dies an old man, and she dies three days later.
When the movie ends, the guests notice that the room has once again changed. The bouquets of roses have reappeared. The large portrait of Hughes as a naked, emaciated, long haired and bearded old man with six-inch fingernails has turned into a sweet portrait of an older, clean-cut Hughes with Jean Peters. The cobwebs on the elegant grandfather clock have disappeared and the hands are turning backwards. The newspaper headlines have changed from a mix of happy and sad to all more or less happy. The shelf with a row of urine bottles have changed back to champagne bottles. In the X-rays showing the needles in Hughes’ body after his death, the needles have all disappeared. The Host takes white table clothes and re-covers the tables–and the boxes of tissue seem to dissolve under the clothes. The pile of pea cans are again a stack of champagne glasses.
Reading of the Will:
The lights come back up. The host lowers the box containing the will and opens it. “This of course is not the original will, but a reprint of it in the Las Vegas Review-Journal dated May 3rd, 1976.”
He removes the front page headlined; “Howard Hughes’ Will Revealed. He invites someone up to read it aloud. “As my old friend, George Van Tassel, used to say, time is a fluid and mysterious thing. What is chance, and what is destiny? I would like to thank some of the people, who, by chance or destiny, made my life a joyous and happy one.”
The guest then lists off the names of all the people who came up with their boxes in order, with the contributions they made to saving him. The Host points to the large pad on which he wrote the same information.
The will ends with him leaving everything to the love of his life, his savior, his muse, his wife, Jean Peters.
“On the second page, there are photographs, and thank yous to everyone who helped in this quest.” He shows small photographs on the back of the front page: every guest is on it. “You’re welcome to take your own copy as you exit the room.”
Everyone notices that they had been emailed a picture of the newspaper article an hour earlier. The Host thanks everyone for attending. The exit music is “Hey! Ba Ba Re Bop.” As they leave, a larger version of their photo at the entrance are available for sale, as well as lovely book showing pictures of some of the coolest props, historical photos and outlining a brief history of Hughes, pointing out just how many of the history we tell is true.
Written by Chris Philpott. Writers Guild of America West Registration Number: 2054113
You may be asked questions and to decide answers which will affect the show's plot. If called on with a question, your answer will steer the course of the story. Every show is therefore uniquely created in-the-moment, allowing for a fresh experience each and every time you come to feast and play! A unique, state-of-the-art audio system provides the character's sound track, scripts, and plot changes. Since the technology has the ability to change the character's responses in real time, no two shows you attend will likely ever be the same!
Prior to your arrival you make your meal selections through the app. Your food is prepared to the exact specifications that would have been laid out by Howard to his staff. There are selections to choose from for your main entree, but Howard's hoping you'll select his famous filet as prepared by Howard's personal chef, Garcy Reich.
Wine is a staple of An Evening with Howard Hughes. A generous selection of wines are available through the App. These are also selected by you prior to your arrival. After an hour of darkness Howard leaves the room, the lights come on, the key to your cell phone is returned, and the games begin.
Using the clues and hints that were revealed during Howard's visit, you and your pre-selected team apply the hints to a series of games, challenges and puzzles, earning casino chips (points) that will later determine the winner of The Howard Hughes Property Challenge, where you vie for ownership points in Howard's real estate holdings on the Las Vegas Strip.
Game points collected allow your team to purchase secret puzzle pieces and artifacts that have been securely locked away in various boxes, much like how Howard might have done to hide secret clues in real life. If successful, you and your team will assemble the artifacts into a physical solution that reveals the secret message from beyond.
As the evening begins to wind down, the team discovering Howard's hidden message is then given a sealed envelope (which had been in view the entire evening) containing Mr. Hughes last will and testament.
Upon the reading of the will it's discovered that many of the evening's guests are mentioned in it, and incidental details of the current evening's proceedings have been documented. Copies of the will will be made available as a download. For a premium, an IR video of the dinner will be made available so you can see all that took place in the dark. Dessert is served during the game portion of the evening.
The app provides interaction that continues long after your evening's dinner with Howard is complete. Points you've earned through your adventure can be applied to merchandise or on any future, return visits. Or you may apply your points to a friend's visit.
NOT AN ESCAPE ROOM
Please note that the production is not an escape room. The entire experience runs 2.5 hours. Group sales are welcome as are full buy-outs. All guests must be 21 or older. Standard, flashing, visual effects are used in this theatrical production, so those with related sensitivities should be aware. We anticipate two shows per night:
6 pm and 9 pm.
THE ADVENTURER'S APP
The Adventurer's App is a tool that every great time traveler explorer uses. Not only can you secure your evening's reservations, your food and your wine selections, but this app will provide a backstory. It provides clues and AR interactive games to assist in your adventure.
The app also features a merchandise section allowing you to select from various prizes and souvenirs of your experience. Consider the App a navigational tool and command center for the entire adventure.
General admission tickets for An Evening with Howard Hughes is $169.00 per guest, including dinner, beverages, and a souvenir poker chip of your evening's adventure.
VIP Experience tickets run $199 per guest. The VIP package includes a complimentary download of the IR video of your dinner in the dark (a $20 value) plus a complimentary bottle of our custom Howard Hughes wine featuring its own, custom AR, augmented reality label (a $20 value). Additional novelty items and souvenirs including high-end clothing are available for purchase through the box office tab of your Adventurer's App.
After having secured your dinner reservations Howard starts sending you text messages from beyond his grave, with instructions that will prepare you for your upcoming evening's adventure.
No refunds are permitted, but if available, a change of reservation dates will be honored.
Sales & MADvertising
Due to the nature of a boutique theatrical production such as this, we use direct marketing to the corporate destination management firms which generates a "strong buy out program." Social Marketing is used for the international markets with direct reservations available.
Seating cap is 36. Show budget based on 30 guests. Las Vegas ticket brokers and concierges will have an allotment of tickets as available.
Our fully equipped website and The Adventurer's App also provides payment methods. Of course the preferred method of ticket reservation is through our Adventurer's App. The up-sell percentage is very strong and all direct to producer.
THE MAD TICKETING SYSTEM
MAD Ticketing is our brand new and very unique ticketing system with a built-in referral program. By simply referring An Evening with Howard Hughes to anyone. You can Instruct them to enter your member code and they will receive 20 dollars off each paid reservation with 10 dollars coming back to you at the end of each month for each guest referred. May not be applied with any other offers.
Live television (local coverage) and feature pod casts will be visited to promote the production. Due to the historic nature of the adventure the Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Bureau, and the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce will use this production as a showcase piece inviting visiting VIPs to seek out Howard.
Our promotional "street team" grabs attention like none other. Under the direction of producer Elliott Hitchcock, Rusty Bolin as old Hughes (see bio) along with our promo team will canvass the concierges and engage them with unique gifts and incentives. A mascot character for the show, Rusty will be seen creating scenes! Our social media and marketing presence will have an endless stream of content featuring Rusty's and the team's antics.
SPONSORS ~ Through decades of live show and event production, Magical Arts and Design has developed and produced clever and effective marketing campaigns with our corporate sponsorship programs. We will work in unison with the host venue on both in-house and external marketing campaigns.
MADvertising ~ Minimal signage will be used as this becomes known as the hardest ticket in town to get. The signage that does get posted will feature an augmented reality (AR) illusion featuring teaser clues to the show's plot. (See the video below.)
Elliott Hitchcock ~ Creator and Senior Producer Hitch@MADShowSystems.com
Hitch's vision is to take his guests to places they can't get to on their own. By creating a fully immersive experience Hitch's shows provide dream come true adventures. From sound to lights, special effects and a great story line, Hitch promises his audiences a great time. Hitch explains, "My visions comes to life with a great team. And I'm excited to introduce the Magical Journeys' group of creatives and special F/X technicians, and cast members"
As Hitch likes to say, "What we do is not magic, but magical!"
For more information about Elliott please visit: Elliott Hitchcock
Chris Philpott – Screenwriter, Director, Magic Creator, Film and Television
Chris Philpott is an award-winning writer and director. Academy-Award nominated writer-director Ron Shelton (Bull Durham) called him “a talent of the first order. His screenplay The Scottish Play is one of the best scripts I’ve ever read!”
Chris has written for such producers as Brad Fischer (Shutter Island), Mike Medavoy (former head of Tristar Pictures), Takashige Ichise (The Ring), Kelly Kulchak (Psych), and Paul Schiff (Maid in Manhattan) and directors such as Simon West (The Mechanic), Takashi Shimizu (The Grudge) and Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre). In 2016, Chris sold his pilot for Forty Elephants to Lionsgate and TNT. Chris has also written for Syfy, IFC and CBC networks
Chris has written and directed three feature films: Fairytales and Pornography won Best Director at The Palm Beach International Film Festival. The Happy Couple won Best Screenplay at The Phoenix Film Festival. Of his first feature, The Eternal Husband, Rick Groen in The Globe and Mail wrote, “Chris Philpott’s screenplay for The Eternal Husband is superb and he directs as well as he writes.”
Chris has created effects and written for many of the world’s greatest magicians, including Derren Brown, Justin Willman, Cyril Takayama and two America’s Got Talent finalists, David and Leeman, and The Clairvoyants. He has written and created effects for two shows for The Illusionists, including the Lionsgate co-production Now You See Me Live. In 2018, Chris wrote and directed a show for Mike Elizalde which garnered rave reviews ("Run, don't walk, to the Castle to see Mike Elizalde. Absolutely amazing! A theatrical marvel!” - Jim Steinmeyer, Magic Castle President. “The best event in the Close-up Gallery I've seen in 55 years! That's all - just the best!” - Joan Lawton, Magic Castle Board Member.)
Chris’s effects are in the repertoire of thousands of magicians and have been translated into dozens of languages. Criss Angel producer, Joe Monte, called his “100th Monkey” “Revolutionary!” and Penn Jillette called his “End of my Rope” “A great trick! A great trick!” His other effects include Pantheon (“Brilliant!" I love this! – Banachek), “All Tied Up” (“One of the most powerful tricks you’ll ever do with a deck of cards.” – Steve Valentine), and the book Intimate Mysteries (“One of the best books I’ve EVER owned!”-Stephen Young).
When Dan Harlan (host of the Penguin lectures, a weekly series of internet lectures by prominent magicians) was asked “On the topic of the lectures, what’s been your most memorable moment?” Dan answered, “Yeah! Chris Philpott. He brought the most dramatic presentations, things where you really cared about what was going on. Really, really smart thinking!”
Michael Borys ~ Puzzle and Games Specialist
Michael Borys is an award-winning designer who has created stories, games and interactive experiences for the largest brands in the world. Among an impressive list of clients, he’s directed content for Disney, Nickelodeon, Warner Brothers, Microsoft, Activision, and Sony.
Michael was selected as one of a handful of designers for conceptualization and creation of Disney Online, which is where his flair for storytelling began to flourish. Soon after, Michael was recruited to become Senior Game Designer for Warner Brothers where he led teams in the production of more than 50 of the most played on-line and mobile games.
Michael left the WB studio to join 42 Entertainment as Vice President of Interaction and Gaming. In this key role, he led design for some of the most successful marketing campaigns of all time, winning back-to-back coveted Cannes Lions Grand Prix Awards. His projects span across many mediums, from working with Disney Imagineering on experiences that became theme park attractions and secret augmented reality, location-based entertainment projects.
Michael can be found performing, giving lectures, and hosting workshops at cutting edge conferences, and his work is studied professionally and academically around the world.
Michael is a magician member of The Magic Castle in Hollywood and his show “The 49 Boxes” has been performed in theaters around the country.
Doug Parker, Tech Director, Magical Arts and Design
Wanting more than a corporate career was able to provide, Doug joined MAD in 2005, after a decade or two in corporate jobs doing technical,computer support. Through his interests in singing and directing, he merges his personal stage experience into show productions and loves working with all types of personalities and situations. An analytical thinker, electronics tinkerer, armchair astronomer, and curious about puzzles, all of MAD's shows like Hughes stand to benefit from his broad areas of awareness and experience. Doug loves motorcycles, has a few US Patents to his name, works regularly on his K9 Zoom training, and holds a PPASEL airman's certificate.
Rusty Bolin as Howard Hughes
Rusty" Bolin is a stage and film actor residing in Orlando, Florida. Rusty studied film production, photography and acting while attending school in Central Florida. Upon leaving school Rusty relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada where he gained employment as a photographer for Color Craft Studios. Two years later he opened a photography studio of his own. It was during this time that he was bitten by the acting bug and soon landed walk on parts on the television show "Vegas" / "The High Roller" with Robert Urech and June Allison, as well as Kojak. Two years later he moved to Southern California where he worked on the student film "Final Exam" for the University of Southern California, Northridge. A year later he gained a small role on the film Rocky 3. It was at this time that he joined the Entertainment Releasing Company working on the distribution of the Jerry Lewis film, "Slapstick of Another Kind".
Within a couple of years Rusty founded The Limousine Network, had gotten married and began to start a family. In October 2000 he was asked to drive a friend to an audition for The Haunted Mansion at Townsend Plantation, (near Orlando) and as fate would have it he auditioned and landed the role for the event's lead character. The following year he was on the road performing across the country on the convention and trade show circuit as an animated character P.T. Barker for Magical Arts and Design. That October he once again joined the cast for The Haunted Mansion of Altamonte Springs portraying the iconic character, mortician Clyde Clevis. It was during this time that he was cast in the event's commercial as well as a Halloween Special for the Univision network. Fall of 2002 he began his first of many years with Universal Orlando Resort's Halloween Horror Nights. During this year he gained great exposure landing roles on the Travel Channel's "Art of the Scare" commercial & special, as well as Universal's Media Event which was broadcast on ABC's Good Morning America. In January of the following year he stared in the movie, Gatorman. Then numerous film roles including; "All Shook Up" with Frank Gorshin and Zombies, Zombies, Zombies. In 2006 he was cast in Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean, Deadman's Chest, and Pirates of the Caribbean, At World's End. During his leisure time he traveled the state of Florida performing Tall Tales and Legends of the West in addition of touring with the Orange County Mounted Sheriff's Unit conducting gun safety presentations for local schools and the Boy Scouts of America. Rusty has appeared as many examples of twisted and deranged characters, including Sir John Talbot, father of the Wolfman. "I have had a devil of a good time playing unique roles throughout the years," exclaimed Rusty! "After all, not everyone can be George Clooney!" (See Rusty in action below)