Sections

CIRCUS comes to town!

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

There is a small miracle taking place on the Red Hook waterfront.

Fools! I am not talking about the Ikea superstore (though I will soon be filing a deeply incisive review of its ball pit, I assure you!)

No, the miracle is the micro-spectacle that is CIRCUSundays at the Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge at the foot of Conover Street.

With just two more Sundays remaining in the series, skip that shopping trip to the big box on Beard Street and give your kids a small-scale theatrical experience that will dazzle and amaze.

It’s a circus, so the actors take the stage and release it to their fellow performers on a revolving basis. On Sunday, a pair of slapstick clowns gave way to a man juggling huge Chinese vases before the juggler yielded to a sweaty man who did a full 360-degree back flip from a standing position before gracefully leaving the stage for a comic magician named Will Fern.

Typically, a man of my bear-trap logic has no use for the black arts of legerdemain, hocus-pocus and the Detroit shim-sham. And I certainly have patience for an act that begins with the magician pulling out an oversized can-punch and saying, “So much for my big opener.”

But if there is a better magician working today, he has not revealed himself to me. I didn’t get where I am in this racket by being beguiled by a mere journeyman, but Fern’s skills made me need supplemental oxygen (and not because of my two-pack-a-day pleasure).

In his greatest feat, he was actually sitting in the audience while his “assistants” did the trick in its entirety. Here is how it went down:

1. A member of the audience picked a card from a deck (it turned out to be the three of clubs).

2. The “assistant,” wearing bunny ears for some reason, handed it to the other assistant, who, just as inexplicably, donned a genie hat. The genie ripped the card into four pieces and put it in the “magic box.”

3. The lapine assistant then carried a tray of oranges to another member of the audience, who stabbed one of the citrus treats with a knife. At that point, the genie said the magic word three times.

4. The audience member handed the orange back to the rabbit.

5. The rabbit-eared gal ripped open the orange to reveal a reassembled three of clubs — minus the bottom corner.

6. Fern expressed shock: “You only said the magic word three times!” he said.

7. The genie re-opened the magic box and, sure enough, found the missing piece of the three of clubs.

This is not to take anything away from rubber-limbed gymnast Rudy Macaggi, juggler David Sharps, or the duo from Cirque Menagerie (which elicited far more glee from the under-8 set than Fern’s bewitchment). But no sleight of hand I have ever seen (and, you’ll recall, I was the Doug Henning correspondent for “Magician Aficionado” in the 1970s) compared to that card-in-the-orange trick.

It will haunt me all my days.

CIRCUSunday at the Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge (foot of Conover Street in Red Hook). Advance tickets, $16 (adults), $10 (kids). Call (877) 238-5596 to buy. Add $2 for same-day purchase. For info on the shows, call (718) 624-4719.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

Patty L. from NYC and Such says:
Ihave had the pleasure of knowing Will Fern and doing busines with him for many years. His abundant growth and complexity of his "tricks" continue to amaze me and keep me in ever growing "AWE." YOU GO, WILL!!!
June 25, 2008, 12:46 am

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.