WIESBADEN, Germany - Illusionist Rob Lake suspended disbelief and some laws of nature as he entertained more than 1,000 Wiesbaden community members April 17 at the Taunus Movie Theater.

The internationally known magician gave two free performances for U.S. ID cardholders in the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden community.

"It's the least I can do," said Lake, "is take a month out of the year to come perform for the troops."

Lake's Armed Forces Entertainment tour included nine shows in garrisons throughout Germany and five more in Holland and England.

The performances - a combination of magic and humor - focused on audience involvement.

"I'm really sweating," said 7-year-old Nicholas Machacek as he stood beneath the bright stage lights awaiting his instructions for being a magician's assistant.

As a multi-colored and oversized hat fell across Machacek's eyes, Lake used the distraction to allow another assistant to switch the stage props giving the illusion of a transforming bunny color.

In the audience a sea of small hands shot into the air as Lake asked "What' Isn't that magic'"

But plenty of Lake's other illusions created believers - two performances of a woman cut in half, a version of the Mystery of the Origami Illusion and pulling dry sand from water.

Inspecting the table for the woman sawed in half illusion, Lake noted that the civil-war-era operating table had holes in the top for the draining of blood.

"Hopefully we don't have too much of that today," said Lake as his penetrating eyes stared at the woman volunteer. The lights darkened and turned red as doom music thundered.

"Because tonight we're going to saw a woman in half," he said. The audience laughed as the woman volunteer gave an unsure smile. In the end, lake used one of his own female stage assistants for the trick.

As the solid steel saws were put into place and the table separated, Lake walked through the opening and took a bow.

After each show, Lake lined up his young, eager fans for autograph sessions. He gave out free magic coloring books and copies of his instructional magic DVD.

"Practice, practice, practice," said the Merlin Award-winning illusionist when asked for advice for aspiring magicians.

"Perform every chance you get. Even if people don't like it, perform anyway. They'll like it later," he said.

Page last updated Thu April 28th, 2011 at 09:45