Magic & Mindbenders Weekend
January 17 - 20, 2020
The first-of-its-kind, never-before-seen, Magic and Mindbenders Weekend at Mohonk Mountain House will reignite your childlike sense of wonder. Prepare to be amazed at our mountaintop winter wonderland! We’ve gathered some of the most skilled illusionists of our generation to create a weekend that is jam packed with unforgettable experiences for all ages. From world-class magic shows, a hands-on Animation Workshop, to a magical beer tasting, your biggest challenge will be deciding between all the ways you can expand your mind and have fun during this incredible three-day weekend of events.
Availability is limited. For reservations, please call .
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
FRIDAY, JANUARY 17
Preview: Animation Workshop
Join us for a preview of the animation workshop taking place on Saturday. Instructors will be on hand to discuss this exciting event and answer any questions you may have.
An intimate night of deceptive demonstrations, mental mischief, psychic experiments and unexplained phenomena, hosted by master charlatan Vinny DePonto.
The Late, Late Movie: The Heist (2001)
A career jewel thief on the verge of retiring, (Gene Hackman) finds himself at tense odds with his longtime partner, a crime boss (Danny Devito). After a failed job DeVito forces the gang to go after a Swiss gold shipment and to use his nephew (Sam Rockwell) in the crime. No one trusts anyone and every step is shaded with the unexpected. Complimentary popcorn and punch. 109 minutes. Rated R for language, adult situations and violence.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 18
Illusion of Motion: Animation and Filmmaking Workshop
10:00am – 5:00pm
Want to make a movie at Mohonk? Stop in to the Conference House for an introductory level stop-motion animation experience! Participants will have an opportunity to make a 2-3 second stop-motion animated movie using paper, chalk and various found objects at an animation stand. In addition to the animation stands, a booth will be set-up for pixilation animation, a stop motion technique using the entire body, posing a frame at a time! You can choose to either work alone or in a small group. This workshop is first come first serve! Join us on Sunday at 11:15am for a screening of the films made today.
More details to come.
The First Trick I Ever Learned
After shows, magicians receive a lot of questions. One of the most common questions besides “How did you do that?” is “How did you get into magic?” What Geoff Kanick did not expect when he opened a Lance Burton Magic Kit on Christmas as a child is that he would be performing magic over twenty years later. Even more so, he never knew how head-over-heels in love with magic he would become. Through this performance weaving storytelling and magic, Geoff explores the roots of his love of magic beginning with, of course, the first trick he ever learned.
Tasting: The Magic of Beer
No illusions here, just good beer and conversation. Join the crew from Yard Owl Brewery for a beer tasting and to discuss all things beer.
Please Note: Pre-registration is required. Space is limited. There is a $30 per person fee for this event. Participants must be 21 or older to attend.
Rob Paparozzi’s Juke Joint
Join us for a rockin’ good concert with singer and harmonica virtuoso, Rob Paparozzi, as he explores the roots of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
The Late, Late Movie: TBD
Complimentary popcorn and punch.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 19
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
Bitten by a radioactive spider in the subway, Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales suddenly develops mysterious powers that transform him into Spider-Man. Then he meets Peter Parker and soon realizes there are many others who share his special, high-flying talents. Miles must now use his newfound skills to battle the evil Kingpin, a hulking madman who can open portals to other universes and pull different versions of Spider-Man into our world. 117 minutes. Rated PG
Your Very Own Film Festival
Enjoy a viewing of films made at yesterday’s Animation and Video workshop session.
The Magic of Stage Design
Designer Brett J. Banakis presents a lecture on how to design, develop, and execute magic for the stage and other live events using Scenery Design tools. We’ll discuss the craft of Scenery Design, both as an exploration of historical and classical technique, and as seen through the lens of the principles of magic. Whether through simple stage machinery or complicated systems of design, there are myriad ways to make audiences believe that magic is right before their eyes. Brett draws on his experiences as International Scenic Supervisor for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, as well as his work with magic consultants Jamie Harrison, David Kwong, Francis Menotti, Chris Fisher, and Vinny DePonto.
Escape Room: Uncover the Hidden Elements
Our Recreation staff presents a table-top mystery: A science experiment at the Daniel Smiley Research Center has gone horribly wrong. Chemicals have leaked in the lab and are about to cause a catastrophic reaction. Your team must solve a series of puzzles, clues, and riddles to find the missing elements and avert disaster. Designed for ages 13 and up.
Magic and Mindbenders Finale
9pm – 10pm
Join our guest Magicians as they come together in Mohonk’s Parlor for the final amazing and enthralling show in our Magic and Mindbenders Weekend.
The Late, Late Movie: The Prestige (2006)
Already a film classic, this period thriller set in the late 19th century follows a rivalry waged between one-time partners and stage illusionists Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale). A tragedy sparks an escalating feud that spans thousands of miles and many years. The film boasts great performances from a star-studded cast including Michael Caine, Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson, and David Bowie. This complicated web of a movie unwinds brilliantly and will keep you guessing until the end. Complimentary popcorn and punch. 130 minutes. Rated PG-13.
MONDAY, JANUARY 20
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day we invite you to join Alexander Heffner, host of Channel Thirteen’s long running television program “The Open Mind,” as he hosts a thought provoking day honoring the achievements of the most visible spokesperson and leader of the Civil Rights Movement.
MEET OUR PROGRAM LEADERS
As a theatre-maker and mentalist, Vinny uses a combination of psychological tricks, illusion, visual art, and immersive storytelling. His recent Off-Broadway stage show Charlatan was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Production. In addition to his live performances, DePonto’s consulting work was featured in the most recent production of Angels in America on Broadway, in Lincoln Center’s Ghostlight, and in hit television shows on The Discovery Channel, NBC, and Netflix. He is also a member of the award-winning immersive theatre group Third Rail Projects. His solo work has been supported by Ars Nova, The American Conservatory Theatre, Here Arts, and The Orchard Project. He enjoys the aroma of antique shops, colorful socks, and your deep, dark secrets. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Katie is a freelance animator and director who specializes in animated and live-action commercials, music videos, and shorts. Whether abstract or narrative, stop motion or mixed media, Nelson’s focus remains making work with daring visuals and inspirational stories. She is an Adjunct professor at the Minneapolis college of Art and Design where she teaches Intro to Animation. She also runs workshops for kids and teens at various events including film festivals and art museums. “I’m always amazed at what students are able to come up with in a very short amount of time. Most students who come to my workshops have never animated before. Seeing their excitement and sense of accomplishment is really what excites me about teaching animation.”
His highly innovative, intelligent presentations are sought by prestigious clientele from the sound stages of Hollywood to the Oval Office, the Hollywood Magic Castle to Fortune 500 companies. As a consultant for film, television, and other magicians, Francis created all of the magic for ABC’s crime drama, Deception. A powerful performer in his own right, Francis can be seen in front of the camera fooling Penn & Teller on their hit show Fool Us, and most recently you can catch him performing on CW’s Masters of Illusion in 2019.
Geoff is a performer-director-theatre maker who began juggling knives at age 13 (torches came later that year), and got his first straight jacket at age 14. Specializing in the vaudeville tradition, Geoff performs a unique blend of new circus, improvised comedy, physical theatre, and world-class illusion. Geoff graduated with distinction from the Master’s Program in International Acting at East 15 in London. He has also trained at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and at the London Dramatic Academy. He was an original cast member of Drama Desk award-winning Queen of the Night at the Paramount in New York City’s Times Square, in which he starred as Sarastro and served as a member of the creative team. Geoff if the Co-Artistic Director of LubDub Theatre Company.
Yard Owl Craft Brewery
Seventeen years ago, James and Michelle Walsh combined their excitement for the restaurant business and opened Mudd Puddle Café in New Paltz, NY. Fresh roasted coffee, hand crafted food, and a warm community space has been the focus since day one. In 2012, they expanded their passion for fine crafted beverages and food by opening Yard Owl Brewery in Gardiner, NY. Here, the team comes together to brew and serve expressive Belgian inspired ales paired with house-made pickled vegetables and eggs, and beer mustards that are served with cheese, charcuterie, and pretzels. This venue has enabled them to create a second community space and expand their creativity into another area of the food and craft beverage world.
This New Jersey-based front man, singer, & harmonica player has been a blues performer since 1967. But Rob is far from being strictly a blues musician. In fact, he’s at home playing a wide range of music, ranging from rock to blues to jazz to pop. Having toured in Japan, Italy, Spain, France, Russia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, Rob’s Broadway, movie, and television credits are also extensive with appearances on Big River and The Will Rogers Follies, Conan O’Brien, David Letterman, and the CBS Early Show. Formerly a member of the Original Blues Brothers Band and leader singer with Blood, Sweat, and Tears, Rob released his debut CD “Etruscan Soul” in 2009.
Brett is a set, lighting, projection and film designer based in Brooklyn, NY. He serves as International Scenic Supervisor for all worldwide productions of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Brett is currently in development for a new Broadway musical of The Devil Wears Prada, co-designed with Christine Jones, with music by Elton John. He has also worked on The Enigmatist, a Magic/Puzzle/Cryptology show at the High Line Hotel. Brett’s recent NY credits include Big Love (Signature Theater; Lortel and Hewes Nominations), Coriolanus (Red Bull Theater) and Ghost Light (LCT3). As Associate Set Designer: The Glass Menagerie, Old Times, Doctor Zhivago, The Last Ship, If/Then, Hands on a Hardbody and Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (Broadway), as well as Rigoletto and La Traviata (Metropolitan Opera).
Availability is limited. For reservations, please call .
When you visit for Magic and Mindbenders Weekend, your overnight package includes:
- Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet with made-to-order omelets, our famous mini-waffles, and more in our grand Main Dining Room; or Continental Breakfast in the historic Lake Lounge
- Brunch: Weekend brunch buffet
- Dinner: Surrey Fine Dining or Modern American Menu
- Access to more than 85 miles of the Hudson Valley’s best hiking trails
- Ice-skating in our open air pavilion
- Daily Guided “House History” Tours of our National Historic Landmark resort
- Guided Outdoor Activities such as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and nature hikes (weather permitting)
- Yoga, Meditation, and Fitness Classes
- Indoor Heated Pool with underwater music
- Afternoon tea and cookies in our historic Lake Lounge
- Nightly Evening Entertainment
- Special Events and more! See schedule of activities >
A la carte experiences available to overnight guests:
- A full menu of nature-inspired treatments at our award-winning spa
- The Carriage Lounge, featuring a full bar and handcrafted cocktails as well as hyperlocal draft beer and hard cider
- An award-winning wine list in our dining venues