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Meshuggena magic in Coney Island • Brooklyn Paper

Meshuggena magic in Coney Island

Did you hear the one about the two Jews who observed Passover at the local freak show?

“Mr. Coney Island” Dick Zigun and Jewish sword swallower Adam “The Real Man” Rinn helped the faithful mark their joyous holiday with The Queen of Kerosene and The Barker, drawing more “oohs” and “aahs” than “oy veys,” during a family-friendly evening of magic, sideshow and variety entertainment at Coney Island USA’s Sideshows by the Seashore on April 1.

“Meshuggena Magic for the Whole Mishpacha” featured a grand afternoon of vaudeville-style Jewish-centricity, calling upon Brooklyn’s Jews to think outside the box and celebrate the holiday — which hails the liberation Israelites from persecution in ancient Egypt — by embracing their wild and wacky side.

“You can be a shul going member of an orthodox Jewish community and yet, run away with the circus sideshow,” banters Rinn, a bar mitzvahed magician who grew up in Coney Island where he developed a knack for “doing the bizarre,” and another one for tickling the funnybone with his rollicking blend of Borsht Belt humor and classic Jewish shtick.

Sharing the spotlight with the mentsch was sizzling Insectavora, also known as the Princess of Pyrotechnics and the Goddess of Gasoline” who ignited the intermission with her spectacular fire show. And, charming conjurer Scott Baker, a Broadway actor who fronts the sideshow as the Outside Talker, or Barker, with a canny ability to coax hesitant thrill seekers into buying a ticket.

“People are always looking for fun things to do on Chol Hamoed [the festivals of Passover and Sukkot],” says Rinn adding, “Families who spend the day at the aquarium, or going on rides, should then come over to the sideshow theater for an afternoon of electrifying acts and unusual feats.”

Sideshows by the Seashore [1208 Surf Ave. at 12th Street in Coney Island, (718)-372-5159].

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