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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Beauty and the Beast Illusions ... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Chezaday
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Inner circle
Naperville, IL
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I got a strange call the other day from a local group staging the play "Beauty and the Beast." They of course want to add the magic they saw in the Broadway play, which of course is no easy feat. I remember seeing the play years ago and there was some sort of levitation rig used. I'm thinking a modified "Aga Levitation" might just do the trick. Of course there aren't many of those around so, any other suggestions would be welcome.

I first suggested they purchase the Osborne plans for the "Aga" and the "Living Half Girl" as they want to do something with a talking head/ Teacup character. All this will take place in February on the north side of Chicago.

If you happen to have a rental or the actual prop for sale let me know ..

Steve
SpellbinderEntertainment
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Inner circle
West Coast
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There is a clip on YouTube (somewhere!)
of a high school or community theatre doing B&B
using a very simple but effective Asrah,
if they can find clip to work from,
that they should be able to put together the illusion even with a tight budget.

Magically,
Walt
Caveat Lector
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Hey Chez,
There is a guy on the Café who was selling a 3 in 1 levitation system for pretty cheap in the stage section here. You might want to try a look down there.

John
Corrupting the art of magic, one show at a time
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Magic Patrick
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Inner circle
Minnesota
1586 Posts

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Chezaday,

Here is the video that spellbinder as talking about.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=j2EXn-Hw5EQ

Good luck with the show
BYUDAD
George Ledo
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Magic Café Columnist
SF Bay Area
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This type of call is not unusual, in that very often these local theater groups have no clue (as in absolutely no clue) how involved some of this stuff is, or how much the Broadway shows cost. And on top of it, they have no money.

If you're involved in this, the first thing you should do is ask them what their budget is, and then what their resources are in terms of someone to build the effect and operate it correctly. If the budget is unrealistic, you can just say no politely. I've done that a number of times, and, if I explain nicely why it can't be done for what they have, they understand. Or, better yet, if I can, I help them come up with a different method that creates the same effect in a simpler way.

In terms of the Aga or Asrah, remember that the levitation is not the point of the thing, and you don't want to take a very dramatic and happy moment in the story and have the audience perceive it as a magician's trick. There are other ways to effect the change from the Beast to the prince that can look just as magical as a "levitation" that's really not a levitation. Unfortunately, a lot of these local groups have no imagination, so they think that by using the "real theater" gimmicks, they'll put on a good show.

A couple of years ago I thought I would be designing the set for B&B in a very well-equipped theater, but the option for the script fell through. Anyay, I posted a question on the effect right here ( Smile ), and got a few answers. But the more I thought about it, and the more I really really really wanted to do the rising with the turning around, the more I realized it would not be the Disney effect, so it would just look like a knock off. And this was in a real theatre with a reasonable budget. Then I started to get creative and think in terms of a "gradual" quick change in the costume, with lots of choreography and several cross-fades in the lights, which then resulted in a totally different concept for the show. Funny thing is, I'll be designing Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella this coming year, and I'll be using some of the ideas from B&B.

Good luck.
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Spellbinder
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The Holy City of East Orange, NJ
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Quote:
On 2007-12-10 20:30, George Ledo wrote:
Unfortunately, a lot of these local groups have no imagination, so they think that by using the "real theater" gimmicks, they'll put on a good show.


That's sort of like the illusionists with lots of money but no imagination who think if they can just buy the latest "professional" illusion they saw on TV, they will put on a good show like a "real professional." Hmmmmm.

I liked the way Beauty just sort of leaped up into the air once she was covered with the bedsheet. They didn't have THAT effect on Broadway!

A theater group should stick to theater magic. They should be able to figure out how to make the SHADOWS of Beauty and the Beast rise into the air without a lot of expense. That's a theatrical effect that should be easy to research and reproduce.
Professor Spellbinder

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reynold
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Elite user
Puerto Rico
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Chezaday: What a coincidence! I got the same call today about beauty and the beast, The actual Disney play will be in Puerto Rico. The called because they needed some things, she didn't give much details over the phone, I am meeting with them tomorrow. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks,
Reynold
George Ledo
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Magic Café Columnist
SF Bay Area
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Ask them about their budget right up front! Smile
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
hugmagic
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Inner circle
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Also be sure to cover your butt as far a liability on the prop. I remember the high school doing "Fiddler on the Roof" with a flying rig. It was not Foy but the other company from Las Vegas. The rig could have been built for less than $200 but the liability of doing it was what costs. Just make sure you are absolutely covered.

Steve, look at the Ken Griffin levi. Simple but it works.

Richard
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Chezaday
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Naperville, IL
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You guys are great .. all your suggestions will be taken into consideration. I'm actually not directly involved, I'm just gathering the information for a friend of a friend.

Through the Café of course, I was contacted by Eric of EDF Magic and sure enough they built the illusions for the Broadway play. I thought that was pretty cool .. I can't wait to work with them on a project myself.

It's a small world after all ...

Steve
leapinglizards
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I believe, having seen the actual effect on broadway, that it is the same rotating levitation Steinmeyer created for Merlin. I think there are tons of more accessible ways to stage that scene without the need for that specific effect.
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