A magic show enjoyed by a multigenerational audience at the SandCastle, known for “stretching smiles and dropping jaws,” was recognized with the magic industry's most prestigious honor yesterday.

Tony Hassini, world president of the International Magicians Society, set out to Guam to present illusionists Chris and Ryan Zubrick of the "Zubrick" magic show with the Merlin Award for Best Family Magic Show. The society is recognized by the Guinness World Records as the world's largest magic organization.

“Through dedication and incredible talent, Chris and Ryan have made the Zubrick brand the gold standard in magic and family entertainment,” Hassini said. “They are very deserving of the industry’s top honor.”

The award, likened to the “Oscar of Magic,” is based on talent, showmanship, originality, skill and the ability to entertain under any circumstance. Previous recipients of the award include Criss Angel, Siegfried and Roy, Penn and Teller, Doug Henning and David Copperfield.

It was a magic trick at the bottom of a cereal box that sparked Chris Zubrick’s interest in magic, and he said it has stuck ever since. Ryan Zubrick explained that both he and Chris’ interests began very similarly, and led to magic shows for families, friends and at birthday parties.

The two met in 2005. Their capability as a duo was discovered after coordinators at Michigan State University unknowingly double-booked them for the same event. Despite the mix-up, the two meshed their abilities and showmanship, and delivered a show together in the limelight.

“It was a great turnout, and we just continued from there,” said Chris Zubrick.

Chuck McCarroll, SandCastle’s director of entertainment, reached out to the two for their first long-term, sit-down contract at SandCastle on Saipan to perform “Magic of Saipan." McCarroll said the show, which was well received by the community, excelled through the Zubricks’ creativity, ingenuity and commitment to the art form. The two ran that show for seven years starting in 2007.

Given their undeniable success, McCarroll brought the Zubricks to Guam in 2015 to begin working on the Guam SandCastle’s show “Zubrick,” which opened in 2016, where they honed their ability to adapt to a multicultural audience while staying true to their classic magic roots.

Ryan Zubrick said the real stars of the "Zubrick" show are the children they bring on stage to perform and make the magic happen.

Their reactions and their smiles are different every night, he said. “It’s exciting for us.”

The two agreed their magic is constantly evolving as they stay current with the trends happening on both the stage and around the world. In an effort to appeal to different audience members, they make it a point to incorporate comedy, suspense, drama and audience participation.

“The key to a family show is to literally have something for everyone – the young, and the young at heart,” Chris Zubrick said.

After finding out they would receive the award, Ryan Zubrick expressed their initial reaction of shock and questioning if it was true that their magic was being recognized internationally.

“The people that have received this in the past are some of the biggest names in magic; people that I grew up watching on TV, studying and respecting, to it’s such an honor and amazing to think that we’re in a class of those magicians,” he said.

“We’re standing on the shoulders of giants in the magic community,” said Chris Zubrick. “It’s a phenomenal opportunity.”

“We’re very lucky to have these two on Guam. 'Zubrick' is an outstanding family show, not only the best family magic show on Guam, but the best family magic show anywhere in the world,” said McCarroll. “On behalf of myself and the entire Baldyga Group, I’d like to express we could not be more proud of 'Zubrick' – more importantly, Chris and Ryan Zubrick.”

McCarroll sees the team as consummate professionals, respected for their artistry and stage presence.

“I love watching audience faces during the show,” said SandCastle General Manager Michael Storm. “From anticipation to dramatic tension, from laughter to amazement, ‘Zubrick’ is a memorable family experience for our guests.”

The show goes on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Seating for the dinner show begins at 6 p.m. Cocktail seating begins at 9 p.m. 

For ticket information, visit https://en.guam-bgtours.com or call for reservations at 671-646-8000.

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