Tricks of the trade

Eilat hosts an international magic convention next weekend.

magic 88 (photo credit: )
magic 88
(photo credit: )
Kicking off its third year, the Magic at the Red Sea (MARS) international magic convention will offer tourists in Eilat a chance to see some amazing international talent, while allowing aspiring Israeli magicians to interact with professionals from abroad. The core of the convention - only open to card-carrying prestidigitators - will include lectures and presentations detailing new tricks and offering advice about kids' magic, balloon making and card tricks. There will also be dealers selling the latest wares and magic must-haves. For those who aren't magicians but appreciate seeing them, the convention will feature a number of performances. A "close-up" show will allow viewers to see magicians from only a few feet away, trying to catch their sleights of hand as they perform with cards, coins and the like. And there'll be performances by magical clowns such as New York's David Kaye, aka Silly Billy, who has authored Seriously Silly: How to Entertain Children with Magic and Comedy. Sandy Masori, though not strictly speaking a magician, can still make people exclaim "How did you do that?" with her balloon sculptures. And the French-Israeli Cris L'Artiste, who also entertains hospitalized children with the Dream Doctor group, will demonstrate his antic-laden illusions. But the most spectacular offering will be a gala Las Vegas-style performance featuring the kind of magic that always brings out the "ooh"s and "aah"s. Headliners will include Tomer Dudai, seen on TV performing such stunts as catching a speeding bullet and spearing a woman with a sword. Also performing will be the convention's organizer, Roei Zaltsman, a mentalist who has had his ESP showcased on Uri Geller's television show, The Successor. The magic convention will take place at Eilat's King Solomon Hotel, November 21-24. For more information, visit the festival's English-language website at