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Magician, escape artist to appear

As children, Michael Griffin and his brother would watch television shows starring their favorite superheroes. Griffin said after Superman and Batman captured the villain they would always tie them up until the police could arrest them. He and his brother would then act out the scenes they saw, but there was a problem when Griffin had to play the tied-up villain.

“I could always get free,” he said.

At 7 p.m. Friday, Griffin, now a professional magician and escape artist for more than 40 years, will be performing his show “50 Shades of Great” in the Lafayette Hotel’s Gun Room. But unlike other shows, Griffin said his will be more off the cuff.

“I play off the audience. Nothing is really scripted,” he said.

Griffin went on to say that there will only be one part of his show that he definitely knows what he will do. He said due to the high risk of danger in the trick, he hasn’t performed it in 15 years.

While keeping much of the trick secret, he did say it is called “Russian Roulette” and uses a gun that is pointed at his head. He said he upgraded a trick he saw when he was much younger that used a starting pistol versus an actual firearm.

“I ended up getting four .22 caliber gold plated revolvers for my shows,” he said.

Griffin said he stopped doing the trick after a volunteer in the audience 15 years ago held the gun to Griffin’s head, but was too nervous to pull the trigger.

“I thought maybe this is a little too much for people,” he said. “So I kind of stopped doing it.”

Griffin said he is bringing the trick out of retirement because of the venue in Marietta.

“I was thinking I’m at the Lafayette in the Gun Room,” he said. “What the heck, then.”

Christina Thrasher, director of sales for the Lafayette Hotel, said Griffin has performed at the hotel multiple times over the last few years and has always been a crowd favorite. She said she has never seen the “Russian Roulette” trick and wasn’t sure what to expect.

“It sounds like an exciting experience,” she said.

Griffin has been on multiple television shows including “America’s got Talent” and “Masters of Illusion.”

Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Thrasher said they are also available for purchase at the door on Friday. But since all of Griffin’s other performances at the Lafayette have sold out, she said it’s best to pre-purchase tickets instead of waiting until the night of the show.

“We will probably be sold out by then,” she said.

If you go

¯What: Michael Griffin will be performing magic and escapes in his show “50 Shades of Great.”

¯When: 7 p.m. Friday.

¯Where: Lafayette Hotel Gun Room, 101 Front St.

¯Tickets: $15 each for adults, $5 for children 12 and under and can be purchased at lafayettehotel.com or by calling 740-373-5522. They can also be purchased at the door if available.

Source: Christina Thrasher, Lafayette Hotel director of sales.