While the Welk Theatre is known for bringing legendary acts to San Diego County, most people have never heard of “Merlin”.
Merlin has performed on television shows such as the “Mike Douglas Show” and “The Hollywood Palace”. He also has performed at Caesar’s in Las Vegas Nevada alongside some of the biggest names in the business including Tony Curtis and Wayne Newton.
Merlin is a 33 year old cockatoo who belonged to the late Ralph Adams, one of the top magicians and illusionists of his time. When Adams passed, his son Ralph Adams Junior, and Merlin, kept his magic going in Las Vegas and all over the world until Ralph Adams Junior recently retired.
With perfect timing, in steps one of Ralph Adams Senior’s most talented students, Anthony Hernandez. Hernandez was only 12 years old when he was coached by the great magician in Santa Maria, California. Merlin was only 9.
For 20 years these two have gone their separate ways and have each continued to entertain and amaze audiences. Thanks to the social media and a known phenomenon called “Facebook”, Ralph Adams Junior and Hernandez had a chance to reconnect, and Merlin had a chance to continue his magic career. So in December of 2011 Adams and Merlin made the long trek from Wendover, Nevada to Riverside, California so Merlin could join The 2012 Welk Illusions Show.
Merlin is enjoying all of the new excitement, and Hernandez made a special perch just for him to sit on bakcstage. The show has run late a few times due to the large amounts of attention Merlin receives from the cast and crew pre-show. After the show, Merlin enjoys meeting the audience and often tips his head so passers by can scratch it for him.
However, we dare not offend Merlin by dating him, or telling him all the kids are calling him “Rio”!! It sure is tough to live through 3 generations of magic!!
Merlin will live another 40 – 60 years. Welk Illusions can be seen at the Welk Resort Theatre in Escondido. Show time is 7:00 p.m. and it is a family friendly show.
Anthony Hernandez has performed special showings and made donations of time and talent to such charities as the American Heart Association, Vince Ferragamo’s Special Olympics, the Lace Cancer Foundation, the Grant Beckstrand Cancer Foundation, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, but the one constant every year is the “Miracle on Sixth Street”. Anthony is looking for a charity to contribute talent and time to in the North San Diego County area.
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