By Charles S. Ward
I still don’t know how it’s done. Maybe I’ll never know.
Beautiful ladies disappearing in midair. Leaving an empty drum high above the stage.
All the while six singer-dancers sing. “How It’s Done.”
While, on the other side of the stage, a lion prowls a cage.
But how did he get up there?
David Seebach’s “Wonders of Magic”
is a bright, jazzy, sparkling two hours.
It opened Wednesday night at the Paramount Arts Centre.
Seebach is the Bob Villa of magic.
He has the same, breathless delivery as Villa, star of the PBS home renovation show, “This Old House.” But, instead of old houses, Seebach unveils a house of music and magic.
The six dancers with him are young and zestful. There are June Gracious, Frederick Kronk, Peggy Peterson, Elizabeth Hanley, Michael Ian Lerner and Cathy Shutt. Peter Davison and Kezia Tenenbaum juggle those tenpins with eye-bending, mind-boggling speed.
Seebach is the center of all this entertainment.
He acquired his first major trick when he was 13, the program notes say.
Wednesday night he invited 13-year old Jeff Peters of Elgin, to join him on stage.
Peters had the courage to stick his head in one of those guillotines that pulverize heads of lettuce.
Peters survived, but the carrots placed next to his neck became sliced for salad.
And I don’t know how that’s done, either,
Seebach dazzles the eyes with a variation on the bottle and glass trick, trading places as long funnels move from one to the other.
This time the bottles proliferate. They become eight, not one. And the red ribbon Seebach ties around one of them changes suddenly to green.
My favorite trick is the one Seebach attributes to Houdini: “Metamorphosis. ”
Remember? The big wooden box. The svelte beauty disappearing into a black satin bag inside the box. Handcuffs are placed on her wrists,
The magician stands on the box. He counts…”One … two…”
“THREE!” she says, and she is outside the box with the handcuffs on and he is inside the box and who will ever know how that one works,
Suffice it to say this show is salted with music through and through and peppered with some fine summer amusement park-type dancing.
Take a child with you when you see it,
It played again this morning. It will be performed at 7:30 p.m. today, at 10 a.m. arid 8 p.m. Friday and at 8 p.m. Saturday.
It surely is one of the brighter spots of ‘the Paramount’s luscious third season.
Next year we want them back.