Duquesne alum Michael Grandinetti returns to Bluff with magic
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2012 00:10
Magic is in the air and on campus this weekend.
This Saturday at 7 p.m. in the A.J. Palumbo Center, magician Michael Grandinettti will bring his nationally famous magic and illusions show back to his hometown and campus for Duquesne’s Family Weekend celebrations.
Grandinetti, originally from West Mifflin, is a Duquesne alumnus who graduated in 1999 with a B.A. in business marketing. Having grown up performing magic throughout Pittsburgh, Grandinetti is quite excited to bring what he calls his biggest show to the Bluff after almost 10 years of not performing in the Steel City.
“The team and I have talked about coming back to Pittsburgh for a long time, but we had to do it the right way,” Grandinetti said.
According to Grandinetti, after 15 years of touring the nation with his show, introducing new illusions and even performing for the Carolina Panther’s halftime show, his magic is ready for his hometown again.
During the performance, audiences can expect to see Grandinetti levitate 10 feet above the stage, attempt to melt his body through a seven foot steel wall, shrink a girl into the size of a football and more. According to crew member Tom Lecorchick, there is no element of the show that the city has seen from Grandinetti before. The greatest part, according to the magician himself, will be the audience’s interaction with him on stage.
“They get to experience the magic themselves – I love that!” Grandinetti said.
During his final semester of college in spring 1999, Grandinetti was invited in February to perform on an NBC magic special in Los Angeles, three months prior to graduation. Grandinetti asked to miss class from his Duquesne professors to do the show, who were all supportive of his magical ambitions. The show aired a week before his graduation on May 2.
With the connection made in the business, Grandinetti began his career in California following graduation and has been learning all he can from the area, pursuing television entertainment while not on tour.
“It’s been an amazing adventure since 13 years ago … I’ve learned so much. I met Dick Clark at one point … Got to see Bob Barker at a press conference. I get to see just how the business works,” Grandinetti said.
Despite what he called “worthwhile experience” in L.A. and tours across the country, Grandinetti admitted that he misses being in Pittsburgh and tries to make it back as much as he can.
The Rev. Sean Hogan, executive vice president for student life, booked Grandinetti to perform and was also a great supporter of Grandinetti and his magic while he was a student at Duquesne. The two have been able to keep in touch over the years, especially since both Grandinetti’s sister and brother attended Duquesne as well. Hogan sees the magician whenever he appears back in Pittsburgh for family visits and when planning activities for this year’s family weekend, Grandinetti’s name came up as a possible entertainer.
“We wanted someone family-oriented and would attract the kids. From what I’ve seen and the write-ups, he [Grandinetti] fits,” Hogan said.
Grandinetti called the chance to perform for Family Weekend a “wonderful opportunity,” since at this point his show it is possibly the best yet.
For Duquesne’s performance, Grandinetti and his team decided to bring some illusions that they normally don’t travel with due to their large size. However, the excited magician explained that they
wanted to “pull out all the stops” for the show this weekend.
Not only is Grandinetti happy to be making it back to the Bluff, but so are his crew members that have been on the road with him all his career and some of them since going to school at Duquesne, together with Grandinetti. One member, Lecorchick, is especially excited to come back to Duquesne and Pittsburgh for it’s his hometown and old school as well.
A marketing student from the class of 1998, Lecorchick had his own DJ business during him time at Duquesne and helped out at Duquesne events. In 1997 Lecorchick was friends with Grandinetti’s older brother and got word that the young magician, who he had seen perform on campus, needed a sound technician and offered himself up for the job.