For more than 20 years, Walter King Jr. has been spellbinding audiences from Las Vegas to the Caribbean Islands. He plans now to include the campus of Eastern Illinois University to his list.
King (a.k.a., "The Spellbinder), one of Chicago 's premier illusionists, will entertain at this year's annual African-American Heritage Celebration banquet, set to take place Friday, Feb. 2. The event will begin with a 5 p.m. reception, followed by dinner at 6, in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union. Tickets, priced at $15 for the general public and $8 for students, are available through Jan. 29 at the Gateway Program office (581-6692), located in Blair Hall, Room 2170. No credit cards accepted.
This year's banquet menu is scheduled to include roast beef, fried chicken, vegetable lasagna, green beans, rice, green salad and assorted pies with ice cream, according to Joycelynn Phillips, an event organizer.
King, who has entertained with stars such as Bill Cosby, Sinbad, Levar Burton and Della Reese, received his bachelor's degree from Columbia College with a minor in theater. His vast experience in theater, film and special effects helps create a magical performance that keeps audiences coming back for more.
King also takes a historic look back at African-American magicians from Africa to today. Audiences get a glimpse of several historical entertainers and their styles of performance, from escape artists to grade stage illusions.
This event is made possible by the University Board and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.