I attended The Ringling Brothers Circus this weekend with a number of my young fans, and was pleased to find that this year they were featuring a magic theme. In accordance with this theme, the ringmaster was an actual magician (possibly David Copperfield, but I had left my glasses in the car), and quite a few excellent large-scale illusions were performed.

Illusions included such circus staples as “the professor’s nightmare about walking on a tightrope,” “turn an elephant into its identical twin brother,” “human cannonball catch,” and the Criss-Angel-fan-pleasing “load a bunch of clowns into a small car and blow it up.” All were competently performed with a minimum of mishaps resulting in injury.

One disappointment I had was that every child who purchased a circus program was given a free magic trick. Normally I would think this was a fine idea, but the gimmick required to perform a Balducci levitation is such an important and commonly used piece of magic apparatus, that I cannot approve of giving it out to children en masse.