Though school doors were closed to students Monday, the doors of the Carroll Arts Center opened to a sold-out “School's Out” magic show on Presidents Day.
Dave Thomen of D’s Magic mixed illusions with a little bit of history and help from audience members and magical animal assistants alike.
Throughout the show, there were opportunities for members of the audience to participate, and each time Thomen asked for a volunteer, the seats were full of raised hands.
Lillian Moss, who had traveled from Aberdeen with her family for the show, was one of the volunteers.
She held a blue handkerchief while others held red and white ones. Thomen placed them all into a heart bag — “because Americans have a lot of heart,” he said. What emerged was an American flag.
“It was very special,” Lillian said of the chance to be part of the show. No stranger to magic, she has attended a week-long magic class before.
While his antics kept the audience laughing throughout the conjuration, Thomen hopes the show will help educate them on the meaning behind the colors of the flag.
“Red, white and blue aren’t just random colors. The colors actually have a meaning: red meaning valor, courage; white standing for purity, kindness; and blue standing for justice, perseverance,” he said.
Siblings Hannah and Ryan Marasco were both energized as they exited the theater after the show and waited in line to meet Mr. D, whom they had seen perform once before at a birthday party.
Hannah described the show as awesome. Her favorite trick was when the magician made tennis balls appear out of thin air and then juggled them. Ryan enjoyed a set of rings that Thomen seemed to link and unlink by magic.
Cameron Kerst didn’t have plans for the rest of his day off besides eating lunch with his family, but he said the morning’s magic show was exciting.
It was not Thomen’s first show at the Carroll Arts Center. In fact, he performed a Presidents Day magic show there for the first time in 2010.
But to sell out the theater, “It’s always a thrill for me, simply because I got back into magic in the early ’90s when my wife and myself had our kids,” he said. Thomen had performed as a teenager, but stopped for about 10 years.
“Although our kids are in their 20s now, seeing young friends here today and seeing every seat filled with families is kind of re-living this over again for me,” he said.
Thomen, of Hampstead, was named “Baltimore’s Best” magician by CBS News and awarded a Stars of Magic Award from the National Theatre.
The Thomen family’s pets-magical companions made an appearance on stage, including a dove and Donatello the rabbit, whom Thomen summoned for the finale of the show. Though she didn’t come out of a hat, she got her own tiny top hat to wear.
“I want people to feel the fun of magic in terms of bringing our inner child out. There are so many problems in the world and it’s nice where magic can almost make everyone feel like a kid again, especially the adults.”
For more information on Thomen’s magic show, visit www.davethomen.com.