Magic is in the air at the Inn of Naples - Featuring the Great Gorgonzola

Donato Colucci, as The Great Gorgonzola, Is the main attraction of the Razzle Dazzle Magic Comedy Theater at the Inn of Naples.

Photo by MARTIN MIRON

Donato Colucci, as The Great Gorgonzola, Is the main attraction of the Razzle Dazzle Magic Comedy Theater at the Inn of Naples.

Eddy Lester is every inch a showman, in the most traditional sense. His breed harkens back to an era before cable TV and the Internet, to vaudeville, circuses and traveling sideshows. For four engagements, he’s putting on a magic show at the Inn of Naples that will take audiences back to those halcyon days.

Lester is master of ceremonies, and along with mentalist (mind reader) Dan Tong and headliner Donato Colucci, the Great Gorgonzola, Naples High School junior Ryan Brown will be making his stage magic debut. Brown demonstrates tricks at Kip Barry’s Magic shop in Tin City and has appeared in some school plays, but his career objectives lay in mathematics and computer science.

Lester got the showbiz bug at age 8 on Coney Island from his father, an early radio performer. Over the years as a performer, agent, manager, producer and promoter, he traveled with magician Darwin Ortiz, teaching casino staff and police all over the world how to detect card cheats. Later, he received a complimentary ringside seat at the Las Vegas venue of Siegfried and Roy where he says he was so close to the tigers that it sent his pulse racing.

From 1969-70, Lester performed his own magic as assistant cruise director of the luxury liner QEII. After putting on magic shows for civic organizations like Kiwanis and Lions clubs all over the country, he settled in Naples six years ago and staged two successful Festival of Magic shows last year at the Sugden Theater.

The Tuscan Showroom, inside the Inn of Naples, seats 80 and Lester is hoping for a sellout crowd. Colucci wrote the script for the event, and calls it, “A one-act play with magic.” It has a theme revolving around one of the magician’s favorite props, eggs. He’s so enamored of the ova that he has written a book, “Encyclopedia of Egg Magic.” Tickets are available at the door.

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