The Edwards Twins at the Park Theatre

The Edwards Twins, Eddie and Anthony, with Carol Burnett.

A set of identical twin brothers who spend their lives twinning with all their favorite celebrities on-stage will bring some of their famous friends (in a manner of speaking) to a holiday show next week.

Illusionists Anthony Edwards and his brother, Eddie Edwards—known as the Edwards Twins—will present their holiday show next Thursday, December 2, at The Park Theatre. 

The twins have been bringing their favorite stars to life on-stage for many years, but their career unofficially began when they were young children growing up in Burbank, California in the 1970s. That’s when their uncle, who worked for the “Sonny and Cher” show, would sneak his nephews into the NBC TV studios across from their home and they would watch the celebrities perform on some of their favorite shows, including “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” and “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-in.”

They mimicked the stars’ voices and learned their comedy routines so they could later perform for their family, friends and neighbors.

“It was just a great time,” said Anthony Edwards in a recent interview with ELF along with his brother, Eddie. “We were blessed to be around celebrities, executives—people who knew the business of (television). We were 6 years old and we knew what we were put on this earth to do. All we knew was how to entertain.”

Anthony had earned a degree in music but had also graduated from the San Diego Police Academy in the early ‘90s and was ready to go into law enforcement. 

His brother at the time was touring with the world-renowned cabaret show, “La Cage aux Folles,” performing as Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin—he has been performing as a female celebrity illusionist around the world for 35 years, including for five years in one of the longest-running shows in the history of the Las Vegas strip. 

It was Carol Burnett who suggested the brothers put together a show about a pair of identical twins who look and sound like superstars.

Anthony returned to his roots in entertainment and was doing his own show in Toronto at a dinner club when actor/comedian Burnett came in one night because she was filming a show in town.

“We became the best of friends; I impersonated her that night,” said Anthony of Burnett, who had also been to see his brother Eddie’s show. 

“She didn’t put together at first that Anthony was my brother,” said Eddie. “She asked, ‘What are you doing performing separately?’ Then she offered to help and endorse us in any way she could.” That was in 2009. 

At the same time, they were given the advice to not only learn the art of performing, but the skills of creating their own lighting and sound, doing their own makeup and directing. They now produce the show themselves. 

“You have to have passion,” said Anthony, “and don’t skimp on costumes, arrangements or advertising. We do everything; if we can’t, it won’t work. And you have to think outside the box and change with the times or be left behind.”

They have spent the past decade-plus performing their show, Celebrities on Stage, around the world, doing roughly 250 shows a year. 

When they started out creating their show, Anthony was doing Liza Minelli and Joan Rivers. 

“I looked like a man in a wig,” he said. 

With Anthony tackling the male celebrities and Eddie the women, the two are able to perform as duets: from Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion to Bette Midler and Elton John and of course, Sonny and Cher. 

Anthony has mastered more than 75 characters, including Neil Diamond, Billy Joel, Rod Stewart, Tom Jones, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, and Engelbert Humperdinck.

“You have to feel the character and study: videos, tones, style, costuming,” said Anthony. “We are illusionists, not impressionists. We are only as good as the art we put into it.”

“It’s a never-ending thing; you’re constantly learning,” said Eddie, for whom this life is truly a dream come true. 

“Sometimes I have to pinch myself,” he said. “When we were children, we said nothing would stand in our way. Now that we are here and living it, it is just so great to be able to do the things I never thought I would be able to do or perform for the celebrities we perform for. There’s nothing better than seeing them in the audience.”

They remain the premier celebrity illusionist show in the world. 

“Celebrities have endorsed us,” said Anthony. “No one else can do what we do. We bring joy to people having a difficult time in life. They can escape for two hours and come into our world of illusion and magic and light and love, bringing them into a place where they can laugh and cry and sing. That’s why we do what we do.”

The Edward Twins perform their holiday show next Thursday, December 2, at 7 p.m. at the Park Theatre in downtown Jaffrey. Tickets are $25-$45 and can be ordered at theparktheatre.org


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