Paul Kozak has spent decades traveling around the globe performing and perfecting his comedy and magic show, but now the world-renowned entertainer has reached his final stop — Kailua-Kona.
Kozak, known now by his newly adopted stage name Kona Kozy, plans to be a permanent fixture in his newly adopted island home. The award-winning magician will be performing six days a week at Kozy’s Voo Doo Lounge next to Humpy’s Big Island Alehouse starting Monday.
“I plan to spend the rest of my days here,” Kozak said. “This is my new home and I really feel like I was born to be here.”
When people hear “magic show,” visions of balloon animals and white rabbits popping out of hats come to mind. However, don’t expect to be bored with mundane tricks at Kozak’s show.
Kona Kozy hits the full spectrum of entertainment.
“I’m not a magician out of the world of magic — I’m a magician out of the world of stand-up comedy,” Kozak said. “I have always been able to throw down with the best.”
The Pittsburgh native has spent more than 36 years perfecting his craft and came up with familiar names like Jay Leno, Brad Garrett and Dennis Miller.
Starting as a street performer and working his way up the ranks, Kozak has garnered international recognition.
In 1980, Kozak earned a Gold Medal from The International Brotherhood of Magicians, declaring him the best sleight-of-hand magician in the world.
Then, in 2005 he was awarded with a Merlin for International Entertainer of the Year.
The Merlin award is given to magicians in recognition of their contributions to the performance and creation of magic around the world. Winning a Merlin for a magician is the equivalent of winning an Oscar in the film industry or an Emmy for television.
Kozak added to his growing collection again in 2007, winning International Comic Magician of the year.
Kozak is joined by veteran producer Dick Feeney, who has produced more than 32,000 performances of some of the most successful shows in Las Vegas and throughout the world.
Feeney is a longtime visitor of the island, and produced his first critically acclaimed show “Lullaby of Swing” in 1981 in Honolulu.
“People love magic and they love comedy,” Feeney said. “Kozy is unbelievably talented at both. I knew entertainment on this island needed to expand and this seems the perfect fit.”
Kozak and Feeney met nearly 25 years ago while they were both working in Las Vegas at the Rivera hotel.
In 2003, Feeney picked Kozak to emcee his hugely successful production, “World’s Greatest Magic Show.” The show was comprised of seven of the best magicians from all over the world and went on to win multiple awards.
Raymond Foat, local business owner, tour operator and entrepreneur is also a partner in the production.
Kozak, who is also an avid oil painter in his free time, has learned to take a broad stroke when it comes to his art.
“The comedy is what is happening in the moment during my shows,” Kozak said. “When you take a stance in your act with a point of view, you are narrowing your audience. After all these years I have found the perfect formula where the magic feeds the comedy, and the comedy feeds the magic.”
With the crashing waves as background noise and coconut cocktails flowing, the venue is vastly different than a casino or comedy club. Kozak is eager to get back on stage and embrace the new challenge.
“Even after all these years it’s still exciting for me,” Kozak said. “It’s never the same and I want people to know they can come see me again and again and always see something different.”
Tickets for the show are $29.99 and include two drinks or one tropical beverage. For more information on show times and to purchase tickets visit konakozy.com or call 430-1957.