Showing posts with label Cesareo Pelaez. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cesareo Pelaez. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Le Grand David: All Done By Kindness

There is a famous David Devant Poster which has the words 'All Done By Kindness' written across the bottom. I'm almost certain that my friends at LeGrand David had one poster with those words written across it. I know however, that they mainly used the slogan 'always a wonder to remember'.

I guess for me, 'All Done By Kindness' really sums them up the best. Upon everyone of my visits they have all been the kindest folks. And one day in 2004, I received something in the mail from them that I have cherished ever since. Now, before I say what it is, let me tell you that I collect LGD stuff. Posters, magazine articles, programs, books, you name it, and I collect it. I've got a huge collection of their newspapers that I've acquired of the years, and I've hunted quite a long time for some of the more rare early posters and programs from their show. I still don't have a copy of every poster they've done, but I have most. I've also seen a couple of their props in different collections and one day perhaps if luck shines upon me and those collectors decide to sell, I'll be able to add a prop to my collection.

But greater than any prop or poster or frankly, greater than any piece from any magician I have in my magic history collection, is a hand-made card that they sent to me. Inside the card reads "Thank you Dean, Your Magic Words Have Touched Our Hearts" and then it is signed by every member of the LGD cast. That cards sums up the 'All Done By Kindness' that they express in all they do. They are all wonderful and generous people who I'm proud to call my friends.

Friday, April 20, 2012

LGD: Marco The Magi Lives On

I would like to finish this Tribute with some thoughts on my friend Cesareo. There is no question he was a genius, a visionary, and a much loved person. He will be missed and I hope his status continues to build and build over the years. Cesareo was not a Houdini in the traditional sense. But in many ways he was very much like Houdini.

Both Cesareo and Houdini were immigrants who made a mark in this world that few could ever hope to duplicate. Both of them had a fiery passion for what they did. Both were innovative and creative. Both were Presidents of the Society of American Magicians. In fact, I'm sure if I gave it enough thought I could come up with a huge list of how they were similar.

But honestly, they were also very different. Cesareo was unique and though influenced by folks like David Bamberg and Chang and others, he was his own person. Even in his educational life he was different. He was an assistant to Abraham Maslow, but even Maslow couldn't communicate and connect with students the way Cesareo could. He was one of a kind and went on to have an amazing impact in the lives of his students, friends and everyone who came in contact with him.

I mentioned in an earlier blog article that I can still hear Cesareo in my head. It's true. I remember the conversations we had while driving back from the airport and sitting in the back of the theatre chatting. I recall vividly the very first conversation we had in the second floor of the Cabot. Quite an inspiring time to say the least. I remember him telling me 'You are doing it wrong' when I told him about the Festival of Magic Show that my friend Ralph and I were doing. Cesareo then told me what we should be doing, and we tried it and it worked! He told me to bring a video with me the next time I visited and he would discuss it with me while we watched. Unfortunately, he had a stroke only a week or so after that visit and he would be spending many months recovering and I never got to share my video with him or hear his thoughts.

I certainly didn't get anywhere near the time with him that others did. But I understood him and what he was about. So those lessons and conversations will be repeating in my mind for a long time. The suggestions he had for me will also continue to inspire and push me. And though he may be gone in the physical form, I know that he'll continue to teach and instruct through the writings he's left behind and those special friends who will carry on his message, and now I find myself among those special friends carrying on as well.

I just found out there is a new edition to the excellent book that Avrom Surath wrote called "Wonderful Suprises". It is a biography of Cesareo Peleaz by one of his closest friends. I read the first edition and it was great. But this new edition has some extra material.  On the back of the book is a quote from Cesareo which I will not give out, but I can tell you, for me they will be words to live by. You'll need to get the book to know what it says and you can probably get the book by contacting the Cabot St. Cinema Theatre at

I'd like to leave you with this poem which was a favorite of Cesareo's and describes him perfectly and in a way, he leaves us with yet another lesson.

"The Country Teacher"
Even though you do not get
to see the fruit of your labors
Sow, always sow
life is to sow
is to sow
is to grow,
is to love.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

LGD: The Final Visit

I just returned from an emotional and very rewarding trip to Beverly Mass. The trip was really to say goodbye to Cesareo and to support my friends at the LeGrand David Show, the show which he created.  I had missed the funeral, but I felt it important to visit the grave site. My friend is in peace now, no longer suffering the effects of illnesses and ailments. And as David so eloquently said during the show on Sunday, Cesareo is now busy building a show for the heavenly hosts.

We went to dinner with David on Saturday evening and it was a very enjoyable night. On Sunday we went to see the first performance of LGD since the hiatus that was instituted by Cesareo following their 35th Anniversary performance. This show is one of the last for the 35th year of consecutive shows. The big question is will the show continue??? No one knows for sure, that is for the members of the company to decide. David now fills the shoes left behind by Cesareo. Though no one could really fill Cesareo's shoes, David has been groomed his entire adult life by Cesareo and I know the future is in excellent hands.

I must say that the version of the show we watched on Sunday was magnificent. It was different from what I had seen numerous times before and I was filled with joy over the changes and additions to the show. You get to hear Cesareo's voice in the show which is a treat. And there is more dialog in the show than in past versions which I really enjoyed. David's routine with a Toucan is a real treat. I don't want to give away any of the surprises, but I will say if you've never seen the show, there are still several more performances left of the 35th Season. It would be a very good idea to go see the show NOW as this version might never be presented again and believe me, it's wonderful!

Visit their website at for more information on showtimes.

For me, this visit was about saying goodbye to my dear friend Cesareo. But it was also about continuing to build the friendships with the members of the company. We only got to spend a few short moments with Mark and sadly an even shorter time with my friend Rick. I was glad to talk a little with Ann but we also didn't get to enjoy Avrom's company but for a few brief seconds. So next time, we will be sure to see more of them!

The future is going to be different for all of us but I predict it will be an exciting future! I cannot wait to see what they do next year and in the years to come. We will be back in Beverly later in the year and hope to spend more time with our friends and enjoy the next chapter in this exciting adventure!

The last article in this tribute

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

LGD: The Original Visit

I don't think I ever shared this story with anyone before. This is about my original visit to Beverly, years ago as a teenager.  I had seen an ad in GENII Magazine for this show called LeGrand David. I didn't know much about it other than they had a two page ad with tons of reviews by famous people. It just so happened my family and I were going to New England on a short vacation and would be staying in Nashua NH. I knew that Nashua was not far from Boston so I asked my Dad and he took us all, along with the friends we were visiting to the show.

As a teen-aged magician, I was more concerned about being sure none of the tricks fooled me. But somewhere along the way I got caught up in the show. Somewhere along the way I gave in to the sights before me and just took it all in. That singular event had a huge impact on my life. In fact, during intermission, I got met someone in the audience who was famous. I met Mr. Bill Larsen, of Magic Castle and Genii Magazine fame. He and his wife were in the audience that night and it was so exciting meeting him. After the show, I met David Bull, the man who is Le Grand David. But I wanted to meet Cesareo and was unable. He was swamped with people. I did buy two magic posters, both of which I still own and both of which I proudly displayed in the Underground Magic Theatre years later. But there was something about this guy Cesareo, who I only knew then as Marco the Magi. I didn't know he had another name.

I still can recall moments from that show in my mind. I remember seeing Cesareo bounce around the stage with so much energy and enthusiasm.  I remember his Linking Ring Routine and I remember a very different version of The Floating Table. I also remember young Seth the Sensational, who was the son of Leslie Bartlett. What a grand show it was. I remember Marco telling the story of one of the stage curtains and telling about FuManchu. I recall David performing an unbelievable two handed Billiard Ball Manipulation routine that stunned me. I also enjoyed seeing David present the Rice Bowls and the Vanish of a Walking Cane.

It left such an impression on me that years later I wanted to return. I sent a letter to the company and not even sure if I addressed it to anyone in particular. I wanted to bring my magic club up there on a field trip. A week later I received a personal invitation from Cesareo to be his guest for a weekend of my choice. He sensed something about me in the letter which he mentioned, and which I'm not even sure I was aware.

I made arrangements and along with my girlfriend at the time took the train to Boston. As we rode the train, I carried with me an issue of MAGIC Magazine that had been devoted to LGD. I wanted to show it to my girlfriend to let her know a little about what we were going to see. But a day before we left, I was sitting in my office with my friend Ralph and I said to him, "don't ask me why, but I have a feeling that I'm not going to return the same person I am now". Maybe that was the sixth sense talking, I don't know. But suffice to say, that weekend in April in 2000 changed my life because I did finally meet the real Magi, Cesareo and he had a profound effect on me that he probably never quite realized. It never would have happened though without that seed being planted years before. The desire to return always stayed with me and when I returned it was like going home, to my magic home.

Tomorrow, in the morning, I'll be leaving for Beverly, MA. I am anxious to see my friends and to say goodbye to Cesareo in person. I'll have more articles pertaining to LGD soon, and once things get settled, Episode 1 of The Magic Detective, which has been long delayed because of my workload and other issues, will be appearing.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

LGD- Creating the Proper Atmosphere Before the Show Begins

The moment you walk into the theatre on show day, the show has actually begun. Not the stage show, but the overall LGD experience. The ticket taker is in costume in a painted booth which raises him off the ground. Immediately to the right of the ticket taker is a giant dragons mouth which is wide open and you've got to walk through it to get into the lobby. Once you pass through the dragons mouth you'll encounter clowns, costumed characters, jugglers and maybe even Leslie Bartlett and his playful hand puppet dog. What you might not realize while your eyes are taking in the sights, is that there is beautiful music playing and it's not a recording and it's not a player piano.

Lil Av
The music is being played by Avrom Surath, who is also one of the clowns. Avrom and his wife Ann have been with the company since the beginning. One of Avrom's many talents is as a classical pianist and the music that comes out of his fingers is heavenly.  If memory serves there is a piano in the lobby and also another, which might be an organ, in the theatre itself. At the beginning Avrom is playing in the lobby, during intermission Avrom is playing in the theatre. And during the show, you can find Avrom performing on the stage along side Cesareo and David and the rest of the cast. His clown name is Lil Av. You'll know Lil Av in the show because he does some hat juggling bits and is also featured in the Multiplying Bottle routine with David. In addition to this Lil Av plays the accordion (see photo left) while David presents a sleight of hand routine using sparkling balls.

Leslie Bartlett, who I mentioned earlier, has also been with the show since the beginning. He is the father of SETH, who at one time was one of the three main characters in the show, when Seth was just a child. Leslie serves a very important purpose. Along with helping to create the fun, playful atmosphere before the show, he also begins to draw peoples attention towards the front of the stage with his incredible juggling feats. He is the last performer of what I would call the 'preshow' performers that you'll see. Once he is done, the entire audience is looking forward and the stage show is starting.

All the members of the company who are visible, are in some sort of costume. From the folks selling popcorn and refreshments to the cast members selling programs or helping people find seats, everyone is wearing some sort of costume that was hand made by other members of the company. I'm not sure how many cast members are strictly behind the scenes, my guess is not many. They all contribute to the overall production and though you might see them serving popcorn at the start of the show, later they've got an important role to play IN the show.

To me one of the most impressive things happens the day before, when they conduct rehearsals of the various parts of the show. There is a juggling session, barbershop song rehearsal, dance rehearsal and much more. Then on the day OF the show, all the cast members arrive early to prepare the theatre. They all contribute to making sure the theatre is clean and ready by showtime. It's at this time when you realize that this  is much more than just a show it is a labor of love.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

LGD-Marketing From The Golden Age of Magic

Back in the Golden Age of Magic, the most popular form of advertising a show was to use colorful lithographs. Magicians used thousands of these full color posters and would have the town 'papered' or covered with their posters so that everyone knew they were coming or that their show was in town. This was before the advent of radio or TV so it was best way to promote a show.

Le Grand David and his own Spectacular Magic Company have borrowed a page from the book of the old time magicians and adapted a number of their marketing and advertising techniques. This group has produced more unique posters than probably any other magician or magic act in history. They don't paper the town, but they do prominently display their posters in the lobby and in the windows of the theatre. The posters are also pictured in vivid color in their programs.

Another interesting technique that Cesareo and company borrowed from past shows is to create their own newspaper. This paper is produced by them, they sell the advertising, have them printed up and then deliver the papers free of charge to businesses throughout the Boston area. There is a new paper every week. It serves a two fold purpose. It alerts the locals as to what movies are playing at their theatre and it also lets them know about this one of a kind magic show presented on various Sundays throughout the year.

Getting back to the posters for a moment, Kellar, Thurston, Houdini and others used full color lithograph posters to promote their appearances. The images on those posters needed to be striking and breathtaking in order to encourage people to attend their performances. Look at the two posters I have put on this blog. I chose them specifically because not only do they feature a prominent member of the company, in this case Cesareo as Marco the Magi, they also include painted images of moments from the show. Notice, not a detail is left out. If the backdrop is elaborate and colorful, they've included that very image in the painting. I think my favorite backdrop of theirs is the beautiful peacock feather backdrop. You can see a portion of it on the poster at the top of the page, it's in the small square with Cesareo presenting his 'Floating Table' illusion.
Some of the early posters for the company were line drawings. Over time they became more and more elaborate. In my personal collection, I own a poster from the early days which is black and gold. I think this was a silk screened image and it's gorgeous. I purchased it during my very first visit to the show as a kid.

In the 1983, the company published a small book called "The Making of a Magic Poster". I own a copy of it, but I don't have it handy to reference. I do know that many of the poster designs were the idea of Cesareo and then he would have members do the artwork. I'm fairly certain that the majority of full color posters were the creation of Cesareo and Rick Heath. Rick has been with the company since the early days and he is a fantastic artist in my opinion. He also plays the part of Albert Ping-Pong, one of the august clowns in the show. If you've seen the show you might recall the clown with the squeeker voice, well that is Albert Ping Pong. He is also the clown who makes the very tall newspaper tree just prior to David performing the Dancing Handkerchief.

If I had to guess, I'd say that there are over 100 posters created by the company. How many of them were turned into printed posters I don't know. But you can see many of the originals on display in the lobby of the Cabot Theatre and in the Gallery of the Larcom Theatre.

Next Article

LGD-The Magic of Spectacle Pt2

I wanted to share with you a couple of photos that show the kind of thought and detail that went into the decorating of the props used in the show. Please keep in mind, that some of the smaller props they used in the show were purchased, other props were built from scratch. But no matter which way they got the props, they all went through the Cesareo decorating process.

The illusion pictured above is HUGE. I think it stands 5ft tall to give you an idea of scale. I was never fortunate enough to see it used in the show, so I am not even certain what it is. I have a feeling it's some sort of tip over trunk illusion. But regardless of what the prop does, it's the way the prop is decorated that I want to point out. You might think they all of their props are red and black with painted dragons, WRONG you are. This piece above is simply a work of art. The design on the front is incredible. The same design is repeated on the sides and the back. IF you look at the base of the prop, you can clearly see a similar design repeated. Let's face it, they could have easily just painted the base a solid color, but they did not go that route. The design is also repeated on the curved lid, which I honestly didn't even notice myself until just now. And then there is the flowered decoration on part of the lid. It's just another detail that takes this prop from ordinary to extraordinary!

The next prop is a smaller piece, a Die Box. 90% of the detailed paint work on this prop is going to be lost on the audience, but did that matter? No. Look closely at this prop and you can see the care and patience that had to go into painting it. BTW, these are not decals you're looking at. The detailed work on this prop was all hand painted. It's breathtaking if you think about it.

This final piece is a very large illusion known as 'Noah's Ark' or sometimes just as 'The Ark'. It's an illusion that has fallen out of favor. It was popular in the Vaudeville days and I know that Harry Blackstone Sr. presented a version of it as did many other performers. The effect was that the front and back doors of the prop were opened to show it empty, and then they were closed. At this point the magician would reach through the openings in the front of the box and pull out livestock, chickens, ducks and other such animals. Eventually, after numerous livestock had been produced, the doors were again opened and a female was seen reclining inside the box! Most of these things were decorated to look like Noah's Ark, so they had a wood grain finish or natural finish if you will.  Wood grain would not fit within the scheme of all the other props in the LeGrand David Show, so this prop got the special 1-2-3 Cesareo signature style applied to it. Keep in mind, the kind of design that is on this illusion isn't going to be listed among a set of workshop plans. Cesareo and the members of the company would have had to come up with the design first, draw it on there and then hand paint it! And this prop has DRAGONS! Look at the top and you'll see two ornate dragons that stretch from one side to the other meeting in the middle of the box. As I said before, not so much a paint job as it is a work of art! But it was this kind of work that was the signature of the members of this show. It was this kind of care that went into everything they did. When you step back and really examine the amount of effort that went into each and every prop,  you begin to understand that this was not just a magic show but it was a labor of love for everyone involved.

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Monday, April 2, 2012

LGD-The Magic of Spectacle Pt1

 There is one thing that Cesareo knew well and that was how to put on a spectacle. Actually, there were countless things that Cesareo knew how to do well, but he knew how to create eye candy that would draw people in and peak their interests. He had numerous ways to do it and I want to touch on one thing today, detail.

What does that mean? Well, Cesareo was a stickler for details. When you walked into the lobby of the theatre, you'd immediately be drawn into the artwork on the walls, the painted ticket booth, the giant paper mache dragons head, and you were spent any amount of time in the lobby, you'd begin to see deeper and deeper into all that was there. The ceiling tiles were all hand painted. The posters that hung in the lobby were actually paintings done by members of the company. Even the bathroom were decorated with unique designs painted onto the walls. Everywhere you looked there was something new to see.

If you ventured up the stairs, you'd be taken in by the hundreds of framed images of newspaper and magazine articles that were done on the company over the years. Once you finally made it up the stairs, you'd see more paintings on the walls and even a huge bronze sculpture which was done by Webster and David Bull's father.

Before the show even started you were overwhelmed with beautiful images. And whether you knew it or not, the show actually began the moment you walked in the door. Clowns and other characters in costume walked around, entertained and mingled with audience members. There was something happening everywhere you looked. It was breath taking.

The stage show started with a cast members entering from the back of the audience and working their way up slowly to the stage. Now you were seeing elaborate costumes and giant costumed characters. When the curtains finally opened, it was if an enormous flower was blooming as the colors from the backdrops burst forth from the stage. There was so much to see and in lesser hands the audience would not know where to focus their attention. But not at this show. Cesareo as Marco, and David as LeGrand David and all the cast members knew exactly what to do to draw focus at the right time and direct focus towards to proper action when called for. The choreography of so many people on stage was amazing.

Contrast this to an average magic show that rarely uses painted scenery or any scenery for that matter, and often works against a black background. You rarely see more than one or two assistants on stage with the magician at a time and their costuming is almost never anything to write home about. In fact todays modern magic shows, the performers are wearing street clothes. Male assistants often wear all black, and some female assistants wear costumes that border on being appropriate for family audiences. Very little costuming, no theatricality, no spectacle.

I remember after 9-11 Cesareo added something new to the opening number of the show. He opened the show in silence. No music, no talking. It was an unusual way to open a show and it made a dramatic statement. I'm not sure any other show could have pulled it off, but they did.

Cesearo and his company were masters at detail, the detail of spectacle. Whether it was the ornate costumes, the incredibly beautiful backdrops and scenery, even the props which were all painted as works of art, no detail went unnoticed. It's a lesson we all should pay close attention to. It's certainly one of the first lessons I was confronted with and I took notice and have never forgotten it.

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tribute to Marco the Magi Begins

If you look above at the masthead for my blog (above), you'll see I've changed it. This is my first 'tribute masthead' and it will remain there for a while. My friend and mentor Cesareo Pelaez passed away on Houdini's birthday this year. It was just a week ago really and I still can't come to grips with his being gone. For whatever reason, for me he has not gone. I hear him in my head even now.  So over the next few days, and maybe longer, I'll be sharing random thoughts with you about my friend, about the LGD family and about things I learned from him.

His lessons, his guidance, and his kindness are with me everyday. And yes, I DO hear him, still. It's as if he has left me something to do, but I've not yet done it. There were many suggestions Cesareo gave me over the years. I listened to them all and went after many. Some I did not accomplish and others I still plan to do. One right now that sticks in my mind is a book that he suggested I write. But I know Cesareo would not want me to write a book in his words, but to use my creativity to explore the subject. Unfortunately, he did not know, I wrote it. Actually, I wrote the first one, of many. The first version is a children's book which features a young Marco the Magi as a boy. Marco the Magi was the character Cesareo played on stage. The story is part fiction and part truth. I pulled elements from his life story and put them together to write this story.

The one delay was that I had not illustrated the story yet. I did not want to illustrate it all, only a couple pages and then bring it to him to review. Now, however, he will watch over me as I work on the illustrations.

But that is not the task he has left me. I'm not totally sure what it is, but I have a good idea.

Next article: The Magic of Spectacle

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cesareo Pelaez, teacher; created Le Grand David magic show

This is the obituary for Cesareo from the Boston Globe. I'm still in shock over this, yet I know he would prefer we celebrate his life rather than mourn his passing. Personally, I think it's time he receive the Houdini treatment and continue to promote him and build his status to legend. He certainly earned it.

Cesareo Pelaez, teacher; created Le Grand David magic show

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cesareo Pelaez RIP

I don't even know how to write this, but my dear friend Cesareo Pelaez has passed away. He was the founder and creator of the Le Grand David Magic Show in Beverly MA, he was also a former college professor. Actually Cesareo was many things to many people. To me, he was a mentor and dear friend.
I can't find the words to describe the sadness I feel today.

I was reflecting on this today and how much Cesareo changed my life. He was the one who encouraged me to write, which led me to write a couple books and then a magazine column and of course this blog and others. He also was instrumental in encouraging my artwork and it's continuation. And as far as my magical performances his contributions and suggestions were countless. He was such a wonderful person and I know he had a similar affect on every person he encountered. I will write more later.

Cesareo Pelaez (October 16, 1932 - March 24, 2012)
From my other blog
 Previous articles I wrote about Cesareo and Le Grand David.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Le Grand David Family

I hope you enjoyed the four part blog on Cesareo and the Le Grand David show. That was written 11 years ago. Since that time much has happened. With Cesareo's encouragement I had run and was elected as the MidAtlantic Regional Vice President of the Society of American Magicians. The plan was to take it all the way and eventually become President of the organization, as he had years before. While all that was happening, the events of 9-11 took place. A tragic event that has touched people across the globe.  I had just flown out of Boston visiting my friends in Beverly, a few months before 9-11, and the planes that hit the twin towers came from the Boston Airport. After that event I found that I was unable to fly. I just couldn't do it.

The plans to move forward with the S.A.M.  faded away sadly. The fear of flying also kept me from visiting my friends in Beverly for a while which I felt terrible about. Now, I have since gotten back on airplanes and flown, but it took a while believe me.

Meeting The Magi - The Eyes

When last I wrote I mentioned my first encounters with Cesareo. Up until now, he did all the talking and I did all the listening. The time had finally come for dialog. We sat down together after touring the Cabot Street Cinema Theatre's workshops, and he began to speak.  "So Dean…" he said, followed by a long pause.  "How are you?" he asked. My mind was racing to find the appropriate words to answer his question. "Wonderful Cesareo, very very thankful to you for showing me so much" was my reply.  "No, No, How are you?" he repeated. Did I miss something? What was he trying to ask? I told him how overwhelmed and astonished I was. Cesareo smiled and looked at me and softly said "How are you? How is your health, how are you feeling?" He wasn't concerned about magic or the tour he had just given, he was concerned about me as a person. And this is where the real magic began.

After a few moments we went downstairs to the lobby of the Theatre. There were a couple of chairs sitting there that hadn't been there earlier. We walked over and sat down and he began to reveal details about me and my life that he couldn't have known. He was telling me about how so many magicians are so pompous, so selfish and self centered. To illustrate the point he showed me a photo of himself with two very famous performers.  As I looked at the photo he asked me "What do you see?" I knew that whatever my answer was, it would be wrong. Then he said "Look at the picture and tell me who has 'the loving eyes'?"

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Meeting The Magi - Cesareo

Did you ever wonder what it must have been like during the golden age of magic? Imagine meeting people like Houdini, Kellar, Herrmann, Malini, and so many others. What would it have been like to sit at the feet of these masters and learn the secrets that made them famous? Well, unfortunately those icons of conjuring have passed on long ago.

I'm about to relate a story of my encounter with an individual who has a rare connection with another time, a time when magic was ruled the entertainment world.  His name is Cesareo Peleaz. He was born in Cuba during the 1930's and as a child had the opportunity to see many of the great travelling magic shows of old.

One of the shows that Cesareo saw was the FuManchu Show.  Fu-Manchu was the stage name of David Bamberg, the son of Okito. David was arguably the best magician of the twentieth century.  North American audiences aren't as familiar with him because Fu-Manchu traveled mostly in South America. The Bamberg family produced magicians for seven generations. David Bamberg being the last in the family.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Meeting The Magi - The Cast

Before I discuss the time I spent with Cesareo Peleaz I would like to mention the cast and crew of the Le Grand David performance. Last time I named everyone, and I believe I left off Ellen, Marian and Martha.  Marian and Martha are two young girls, daughters of one of the cast members, who appear throughout the show. Cesareo believes it is important to include children and starts them off at a young age.

On Saturday morning I was to meet the rest of the cast members at the theatre. All the men arrived at the theatre first.  Their job was to sweep the theatre and clean up.  Following this was the Barbershop Quartet Rehearsal and every male participated in this as well.  Later the women arrived for dance rehearsal.  I believe all of the women were involved in the dance rehearsal even if they were not in the show.

Meeting the Magi 1

Over the next few days I'm going to share with you an event that happened to me. It was 11 years ago now, so in effect it's part of my magic history. It was life changing in many ways. I wrote about it in a magic newsletter but I don't think I've shared it with anyone since that time. I'm not going to edit what I wrote, so keep in mind this was eleven years ago. I hope you enjoy this look back...

Meeting the Magi

How many years have you been involved in magic? Whether you are a beginner new to the art or someone who has many years dedicated to magic you still have your likes, dislikes and opinions.  Over time we get accustomed to certain styles of magic we enjoy over others.  Some may have a better appreciation for close-up magic because that is what they perform.  Others have a preference for stage magic, illusions or whatever.  So it goes for everyone.  Now how many of you with years of magical knowledge behind you would figure on having your magic world reshaped by meeting one person?  Doubtful you say. Personally, I would have hardly expected after 25 years in Magic that I would come across someone who would change my whole concept of magic but I did.