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Magic, Grace, and Artistry in a Cirque Christmas Hosted by Carisa Hendrix as Magical Hostess Lucy Darling

Magician and variety artist Carisa Hendrix plans to dazzle and amaze you as Lucy Darling in the touring production of A Magical Cirque Christmas. 

The show, which plays Altria Theater on December 14, features time travel magic when Magical Hostess Lucy Darling is awakened from her world to help find the Christmas spirit that has somehow been misplaced. During her search, she tumbles through different decades where she meets some very interesting and acrobatic characters – from jugglers and acrobats to contortionists and magicians.

Carisa Hendrix hosts “A Magical Cirque Christmas.”

“Every night there is a catastrophe. The audience and I have to resolve it together,” says Hendrix. “It’s a modern fairytale about Christmas that you have never heard of before.”

Hendrix created the character of Lucy Darling about five and a half years ago for a magic show in Australia. She’s been performing as Lucy ever since. 

“My background is in theater and visual design. I created the character to be a complete artistic expression of myself. It has taken over my life. She is my primary magic character now,” she says. 

A 15-time award winning entertainer, Hendrix is featured in the Guinness Book of World Records and Ripley’s Believe It or Not. She is the reining stage magician of the year at the world famous Magic Castle. 

Hendrix was an avid youth volunteer while growing up in Calgary Canada, and that gave her the opportunity to meet actors, magicians, and circus performers. Her interest in carnival sideshow stunts deepened when she was sixteen and met an elderly sideshow performer.

She went on to study acting, dance, comedy, circus, prop manipulation, vaudeville, burlesque, modeling and magic. After being accepted to the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2007, she also studied performance art, design, and video.

Hendrix got into magic after working in a side show with the circus. “I started assisting a magician. The more I learned about magic, the more I realized it was my primary concern. It  satisfied my brain,” she says. 

Since starting in magic, she has been characterized as a generalist. “For me, what I am doing is being entertaining, lovable, and hilarious,” says Hendrix, who has been doing magic full time for ten years. “When I started, I got fooled sometime by really good magic. I want everyone to experience that joy and surprise of what did I just see.” 

All of the characters Hendrix transforms into are named Darling so it’s no wonder that Lucy’s last name would be Darling. “I named her Lucy like Lucille Ball and Lucifer. I love the duplicity of the character,” she says. “Every time I say Lucy Darling I feel like I am summoning her.”

She is proud the creative team of A Magical Cirque Christmas asked her to be part of the creative process for the show. “They were very gracious,” she says. 

The first version of the show was written during the pandemic and has gone through several tweaks since then. “It’s become more spectacular,” she says of the show. “We have some of the coolest magic tricks and circus acts in the business. People love the circus acts. They have a high level of skill that you have never seen before.”

The magic in the show is woven throughout the story, making it almost invisible. “As magicians, we spend so much time making it easy to perceive the magic,” Hendrix says. “There are so few opportunities in life to watch something and be amazed.”

The story is about togetherness and being together again, she adds. “It’s super family friendly. It doesn’t talk down to the audience, and it’s stunning visually.”

The world’s greatest entertainers unite for a spellbinding and incredible holiday production in A Magical Cirque Christmas at Altria Theater, Wednesday, December 14, at 7:30 p.m. For tickets, go here.


An award-winning writer based in Richmond, Joan Tupponce is a parent, grandparent, and self-admitted Disney freak. She writes about anything and everything and enjoys meeting inspiring people and telling their stories. Joan’s work has appeared in RFM since the magazine’s first issue in October 2009. Look for original and exclusive online articles about Richmond-area people, places, and ideas at Just Joan: RVA Storyteller.

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