Smiths Falls History & Mystery: Outerbridge Station Theatre Magic

Smiths Falls Station Theatre
Smiths Falls Station Theatre. Photo credit: Submitted.
Posted on: August 16, 2021

The Smiths Falls Canadian Pacific Railway Station was constructed in 1887. The structure was built on what was once swampland belonging to John McGill Chambers. The town was experiencing a population boom during the construction of the station as CPR workers arrived in abundance to work on the new train line connecting Smiths Falls and Montreal. The station was closed in 1966 when passenger train service was no longer in vogue. On December 7, 1999 CP Rail’s Peter Ballachey presented the keys to the Smiths Falls CPR Station to Mayor Dennis Staples along with a cheque for $50,000 to help convert the building into The Station Theatre. The transformation from a dilapidated railway station to a world class theatre involved some very dedicated and passionate volunteers and multiple fundraisers.

My wife Marion and I moved to Smiths Falls in 2018 and we were delighted to discover that this small town housed a former CPR Station which was now the home of an exquisite 140 seat theatre. We have attended some wonderful performances in this venue. During the summer of 2019 we had the privilege of delivering ten sold out performances of Outerbridge-Clockwork Mysteries, our illusion show which has taken us around the world. Much to our delight more than half of our audience members were “day trippers” from out of town who combined our performance with a great meal and other Smiths Falls attractions. We are delighted to be back onstage as of August 6, 2021 at the Station Theatre for 20 performances. Small towns in the Ottawa Valley are now being papered with posters, rack cards, and even a 16-foot billboard. Lisa Weitz, our awesome publicist has written this spectacular press release to spread the word with the local media.

Clockwork Mysteries set to begin performances August 6

World-class magic show OUTERBRIDGE – Clockwork Mysteries is returning to The Station Theatre in Smiths Falls from August 6 through September 5, 2021. (Fridays @ 7:30pm, Saturdays @ 2:00pm & 7:30pm, Sundays @ 2:00pm — $⁠20⁠/⁠⁠$⁠3⁠0⁠⁠ plus HST, 6⁠1⁠3⁠-2⁠8⁠3⁠-⁠0⁠30⁠0⁠⁠, ⁠⁠ Provincial guidelines will allow up to 70 people at each performance.

Critics across the globe have hailed Ted and Marion Outerbridge as “champions of magic” (Bergedorfer Zeitung, Hamburg, Germany), described their performance as “A visual feast” (Jinhua Daily, China), “A master of Illusion” (CBC-Radio Canada), and exclaimed “An astonishing performance” (Ottawa Life Magazine).

It is the most successful illusion show in Canada, and it wouldn’t be an over-statement to say that OUTERBRIDGE is Canada’s reply to America’s Copperfield, having received both the 2011 Award of Excellence from Ontario Contact, the Touring Artist of the Year award from the B.C. Touring Council, and setting box office records, one of which generated a call to a Fire Marshall to get permission to expand seating!

After years of performing around the world, including Europe, China and the famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, the Outerbridges have recently relocated to Smiths Falls, and are delighted to be performing minutes from their new home in the Ottawa Valley!  Says Ted Outerbridge, “Years ago doing a theatrical show comparable to something in Las Vegas, in a town of 9,000 would not have been possible, but TV shows like America’s Got Talent have created a renaissance in the magical arts.”

Just as magic is experiencing a renaissance, tourism in Smiths Falls has been growing, mostly due to the interest in cannabis tourism fueled by Tweed headquarters. OUTERBRIDGE – Clockwork Mysteries provides a rare opportunity for residents and visitors alike to see a performance in this economic and cultural hub.

Within seconds of taking the stage, the Outerbridges fuse their revolutionary illusions with split-second artistry to hold viewers spellbound. A fantastical event that is at once magic, dance, theatre, and a dash of wonder, the audience is invited into a mysterious clock tower equipped with a variety of timekeeping devices. With the help of an elaborate Victorian time machine, the performers and spectators become part of a race against time. They experience time accelerating and slowing down and participate in predicting the contents of a time capsule. Keeping their audience enthralled from the first astonishing illusion to the spectacular finale, the Outerbridges create an experience that far exceeds the expectations of every spectator.  Indeed, in one of Ted’s illusions, he vanishes from the stage, appearing seconds later standing in the audience. One evening, he recalls, “I reappeared in the audience, but someone was upset with me because I was blocking their view of the show. So they hit me. “They were yelling at me to get out of the way. Then they realized it was me.”  Outerbridge wasn’t injured.  “I was amused.”

Ted & Marion Outerbridge are currently restoring a Smiths Falls heritage home while being swept away by local history & mystery. You can follow them at The Keyhole House on Instagram & Facebook.

Column by Ted Outerbridge

Hometown News
Author: Hometown News