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Famed magician stages outdoor illusion in Taipei

2011/06/05 20:00:12

Taipei, June 5 (CNA) American magician Franz Harary vanished intothin air before quickly reappearing Sunday at the Chang Kai-ShekMemorial Hall in Taipei, offering a glimpse of what audiences canexpect when he performs four shows next week.

After entering a large wooden crate on the plaza in front of theTaipei landmark, the illusionist stuck his hands through two holes inthe crate and had them bound together by an iron chain.

The crate was then hoisted into the air, with Harary's handswaving to viewers as music blared.

Once the crate was suspended in mid-air, Harary freed himself ofthe chain. One side of the crate then opened, and a pair of legscould be seen flying out and then pulled backed up.

Then all four sides of the crate opened up, and the magician wasnowhere to be seen. But a minute later, he showed up on an ambulancebehind the crowd, waving at his audience.

Though Harary made the trick look easy, external factors stillpresented a challenge.

"The most difficult thing is the weather. It's either very hot orvery cold, " Harary said of performing in Taipei, on a day when hewore a black jacket and trousers in 35 degree Celsius weather.

The heat, however, could not melt his enthusiasm for the venue.The memorial hall "is such a magical place. This place has so muchmeaning. Just to stand here is magical. And I think it's worth it, "Harary said.

Visiting Taiwan for the first time in 20 years, the magician thatonce made a NASA space shuttle vanish said "it was an honor to beable to bring new magic back" to a country where "magic is goingstraight up."

Asked by local media whether he planned to do magic with theTaipei 101 skyscraper, the world's second tallest building, Hararysaid he probably could not make it vanish but might consider movingit.

The magic master who made late pop king Michael Jackson rise,disappear and reappear on stage during his 1984 "Victory Tour, " saidhe was discussing a project to work with a few Taiwanese pop stars,but was unwilling to disclose their names.

Harary will stage four shows at the Taipei Arena June 10-12.

(By Kendra Lin)