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Pirates make a splash at Great Escape

With the 2008 Summer Olympic Games currently going on in Beijing, television viewers are getting a chance to see, among other athletes, some of the world's top divers. However, those wowed by those feats need not go halfway around world. They can see the same thing up close and personal, as the Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom Theme Park in Lake George features one of the premiere diving shows in the entire country. Titled Pirates!: The Search for the Treasure of the Lost Lagoon, the performance combines death-defying dives, spectacular stunts, and a load of laughs for some wet-and-wild fun for the whole family.

"Pirates!" is a production of Mirage Entertainment, a California-based company specializing in the production of live shows for amusement parks. The show is managed by Eric "Bones" Bohnert, a Minnesota native and long-time diver who began working with the company while living in Germany.

"I started diving when I was about 16 years old, then I started working with a couple of other companies, and then I started with Mirage." said Bohnert. "I started working my way up about six years ago, and now I'm the boss."

Bohnert took over production of the Great Escape's diving show approximately four years ago, and transitioned it into the extremely popular swashbuckling performance it is today. The performance regularly draws huge crowds and was named the top-rated show in all Six Flags theme parks for 2007.

The storyline of "Pirates!" features a group of young sailors under the command of a greedy captain desiring nothing more than the treasure hidden at the bottom of Lake George. What follows are some stunning high dives from a troupe that has included divers from all over the world, as well as some circus acts and some crowd interaction as the performers douse the first five rows with water. The show climaxes with an incredible dive from Bohnert while engulfed in flames, as well as an enormous high dive by Kirby Mattocks from the very top of the ship's mast.

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