Illusionist Vitaly Beckman can make people’s images disappear from their driver’s licences. Beckman will take part in “M” – The Magic Show at Michael J. Fox Theatre Oct. 21. (photo from eveningofwonders.com)
Vitaly Beckman can make objects levitate. He can transport the image of a person in a photograph to another photograph. And he can predict the future. I know this because I’ve seen him do all those things, and more.
In 2014, the Jewish Independent participated with Beckman in what he would probably call an illusion, but what seemed magical to me. On March 21, 2014, at Havana restaurant, he locked his predictions of what the news would be a few weeks hence – and what I and co-witness Mia Zimmerman, a radio and TV host, would be wearing – in a small box. I held the key to the box, which remained chained up in public view at the restaurant. At Beckman’s April 10 show, the vast majority of his predictions were proven correct, including my and Zimmerman’s chosen outfits.
Beckman is a consummate performer, and his busy schedule and numerous accolades are proof of that. But the best proof is to see one of his shows. He uses humour and charm to involve as many audience members as possible, and even the shy among the crowds seem to want to join in, though many may not get the chance at his next show, just for its sheer size – and that he’ll be one of five performers.
At “M” – The Magic Show on Oct. 21 at Michael J. Fox Theatre, Beckman will be sharing the stage with four other acclaimed and award-winning magicians: Kel, Wes Barker and the team of Trevor and Lorena Watters. The promotional material assures “cutting-edge illusions, mystery, music, comedy, audience participation (you’ve been warned!) and precision sleight of hand.”
It’s not very often that there’s a performance of this magnitude, Beckman told the Independent. “We all have our own shows but this is the first time we have a chance to collaborate,” he said. “Each of us has a different style and it’s exciting to combine into one show.”
In addition to the illusions already mentioned, Beckman’s An Evening of Wonders show includes “Super Vision,” where he reads books and newspapers from a 50-feet away. He writes all of his material and has invented all of his tricks.
“The latest illusion involves turning back time, as an old branch becomes young and fresh again, while I become old,” he shared.
Beckman has been practising magic since the age of 14, when he was inspired, he said, “by a David Copperfield special and started performing for friends and family, and inventing my own illusions. I felt like magic brings out all of my strengths and talents and that I can express myself in the best possible way by creating and performing illusions, by bringing my imagination to life and sharing it with an audience.”
However, notes his bio, it would only be years later, that Beckman “would abandon a career in engineering to focus on rebuilding people’s childlike sense of wonder and bridging the gap between dreams and reality.”
“I am naturally an optimist but also a realist,” he told the Independent. “I believe in good news but also stay grounded. Every new idea I conceive seems impossible at first, but then I can find a way to achieve it. I think that makes me think that it can be true for anything and, with effort and imagination, anything is possible.”
Partial proceeds from “M” – The Magic Show will be donated to the YMCA; funds will go to helping people of all ages access community programs, including swimming, childcare and education. “M” starts at 8 p.m. on Oct. 21 and Michael J. Fox Theatre is at 7373 Macpherson Ave., in Burnaby. Tickets are $39 (plus tax and service charges) from vtixonline.com or 604-241-7292.