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Dr. Ken Jones

Featured Article

Delivering 'Wow!'

StageCoach's Monthly Magic Show Does it in Spades

Article by Melinda Gipson

Photography by Melinda Gipson, StageCoach Theatre

Originally published in Leesburg Lifestyle

There’s magic in Loudoun County. You can find it performed monthly at StageCoach Theatre in Ashburn as Sly’s Fabulous Las Vegas Style Magic Show by a handful of magicians whose passion is not only to astound, but to engage and entertain.

Admittedly, it’s hard to define what one finds magical. To Alec Negri, a.k.a. Sly, what makes a good trick is the element of surprise. Dr. Ken Jones, Sly’s opening act, waxes more philosophical: “I treat magic like it's an academic discipline. I study it, I learn about it. I learn from it. I think that there's magic in the untapped potential of the human mind...the thread that ties it together, is a feeling of impossibility. Some people call it astonishment, some people call it wonder. It's that cognitive dissonance that happens when you've just seen something that you know can't possibly be real or true, but you've just witnessed it.”

Sly’s performers come from a variety of backgrounds and evoke astonishment with a variety of styles. Ken, an award-winning magician with 20 years of experience, is a retired US Army officer and currently works as a full-time researcher, statistics teacher, and magic performer. Robert Ellis, performing as MisterE of Science, uses magic to demonstrate scientific concepts. Larry Lipman, a.k.a. Lorenzo, is a retired journalist and former adjunct professor of journalism at George Washington University. Sunnier Sun, a Taiwanese magician, has won the 2022 and 2023 Magician of the Year Honors from the National Capital Ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

“There's an interaction between the audience and the performer that you can't get on a flat screen. You just can't do it,” Alec says. “I love giving people the experience of what I had when I first started seeing magic as a kid. If I see good magic that fools me, I just have that kid-like experience back again, like finding the gifts under a tree Christmas morning. That's like magic. It's like ‘Wow.’ That’s an experience that I want to make sure everybody has throughout their entire life.”

If you hurry, you can grab their next show on February 2nd, or see the full roster of monthly shows here:  /

  • Alec Negri, a.k.a. Sly
  • Dr. Ken Jones
  • Sly, Dr. Ken Jones, Robert Ellis, Larry Lipman
  • Robert Ellis aka Mister E of Science
  • Larry Lipman, Alec Negri, Sunnier Sun, Dr. Ken Jones, Robert Ellis
  • Larry Lipman aka Lorenzo with Audience Participants
  • Sly and Audience Participant