The friendship of Erik Tait and Michael Kent will end for 90 minutes Tuesday, Jan. 29, as the two vie for supremacy in the field of magic.

The local comedian magicians will compete in "Magic Battle" at 8 p.m. in Up Front at Shadowbox Live, 503 S. Front St. in Columbus' Brewery District.

The trash talking already has started between the two men.

"I don't have butterflies," said Tait, a Franklinton resident. "I'm the reigning international champ in close-up magic and he's just a guy who does magic tricks."

"I've found that sometimes men with long beards are hiding something," said Kent, a Hilliard resident. "That said, Erik is a very skilled magician. He recently won a pretty impressive award from his peers.

"But my awards -- entertainer of the year, magician of the year -- were given to me by nonmagicians, actual audiences from the thousands of shows I've performed in 47 states and 15 different countries. And for most of those shows, I had no facial hair at all."

The show is part of "Tuesdays with Mak and Winks," hosted by Shadowbox head writer Jimmy Mak and stand-up comedian Nickey Winkelman.

Tickets are $7 each and available at shadowboxlive.org.

The setup will work like a cooking battle: Each comedian will have to make the best show out of an assortment of props that will be unknown until the night of the competition, Mak said.

The audience will pick the winner, Mak said.

"I think it really showcases their talent but also there's some fun with it," he said.

Kent and Tait both said they've been trying to find a way to share the stage and the magic battle seems to be a way to test their magic and comedic timing.

"I'm actually really excited about it because it's so different than what I normally do," said Kent, a stage performer. "I honestly have no idea what's going to happen."

"Win, lose or draw it's going to be a good time," Tait said. "I'm a highly specialized card guy and Michael has been doing big stage magic for years. As long as he loses, it's all going to be good."

A prize apparently will be awarded to the winner, although Shadowbox is being tight-lipped about the trophy.

"The real prize is we get to raise the profile of magic in the city of Columbus," Tait said.

"Other than bragging rights I'm not sure what the prize is," Kent said. "They've come up with some unusual prizes (for other battle shows). It would be great if this became a series."

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary