A viral star of many talents is making his way to a historic venue in the Chippewa Valley.
Andy Gross, a multi-faceted entertainer who combines standup comedy, magic and ventriloquism, is set to perform at the Heyde Center for the Arts in Chippewa Falls at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets for the performance start at $25 and are available at the Heyde Center box office and online at cvca.net. Facial coverings are required at all times inside the venue except when actively eating or drinking.
“It is a magic show, but it isn’t like a traditional magic show where there are birds and doves and it’s really serious,” Gross said. “My show is more about comedy, so the audiences who come to my shows are usually surprised by how much laughter and fun are involved in the show.
“That reaction is what I really enjoy.”
Gross performs over 150 shows a year at comedy clubs, cruise ships, Fortune 500 corporate events, colleges and performing arts theaters. He has made a name for himself through numerous TV appearances, including “The Ellen Show” and an NBC television special.
A catalyst that inspired Gross to become a professional performer after focusing his early career aspirations on professional racquetball are his many viral videos on YouTube. Gross has garnered over 200 million views on the site thanks in large part to his “Split Man” prank in which he gives the illusion that he is able to split himself in half at will.
“I’ve loved this art form since I was 9 years old, so to see people laughing and having a good time is still enjoyable for me,” Gross said. “It never gets old to hear people tell you they enjoyed your show, especially after the past year and a half. When the audience is having a good time, I’m having a good time.”
Debra Johnson, executive director of the Heyde Center for the Arts, said Gross’ family-friendly performances are filled with audience participation are a great fit for the Heyde Center and its diverse audiences.
“It’s going to be a fun family show with a lot of different elements in it,” Johnson said. “It’s comedy, it’s magic, it’s ventriloquism and we’re very fortunate to have him as he is traveling through the area. We need to have a good time and enjoy things like this, so we’re very happy to have him come for a fun night of entertainment.”