By Mark Faris
Like a lot of magicians, David Seebach has been doing tricks and illusions most of his life. (According to a biography, he was the first kid in the neighborhood to levitate his little friends.)
Now that he’s a man, however, Seebach has left Milwaukee and taken his show on the road in the form of a two-hour production entitled Wonders of Magic.
The show, which made a stop Sunday at E. J. Thomas Hall, features Seebach, assistants June Gracious, Cathy Shutt and Richard Weber in a fast-moving display of flashy hocus-pocus that kept the tiny crowd of about 300 in a general state of amazement.
Tall, slender, complete with goatee and an assortment of tuxedos and black, flowing robes” Seebach certainly looked the part of magician – in the Blackstone tradition – as he glibly wove his spell.
HE TURNED scarves into flags and bouquets of flowers. He levitated his assistants and made them disappear into thin air, turned yellow liquid into black liquid and made three cards seem to jump mysteriously from one envelope across the stage to another envelope. He even guillotined a 12-year-old volunteer from the audience. The boy, however, who left the stage in one piece and under his own power, said he didn’t feel a thing even though the two carrots flanking his head were cleanly cleaved.
For the most part at least, the illusions were appropriately mystifying. Even the few that weren’t – particularly the one in which he repeatedly pulled bouquets of flowers from a suspiciously bulky quilt – were done slickly enough to be entertaining, nevertheless.
ALTHOUGH Seebach didn’t appear to break any new ground in the world of magic, at least one of his illusions was done sensationally enough to all but the stop the show.
In an illusion he called “Black Magic,” he conjured three writhing forms from an apparently empty booth then, himself, disappeared into the booth. Assistant Weber instantly removed the black cloaks enshrouding the ever-wriggling forms to reveal Gracious, Shutt and – you guessed it – Seebach!
In a word, Wonders of Magic was wonderful – perfect for a Sunday afternoon.