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Articles by Ben Robinson

Around this time my stationery heralded a cartoon that portrayed the icons of the rabbit and hat with a bit of a twist on the feat. The cartoon rabbit peered into a top hat on the envelope. On the letterhead, he fled off the page from whatever he had seen inside the hat. The effect was enough to spur Academy Award-winning actor Ben Kingsley to respond to my letter to him.

Master Chinese painter Charles Chu created these wonderful paintings. The first painting was given to me as a present for a performance I gave in college. I told Charles that I wanted a rabbit and a top hat. When I explained later that the rabbit came out of the hat, Charles made the painting on the right, giving his own spin to the classic feat.

After a recent injury some flowers arrived to cheer my recovery adorned with a small bunny perched and wiggling in a top hat. Do we realize what powerful iconography this is?

Master Chinese painter Charles Chu created these wonderful paintings. The first painting was given to me as a present for a performance I gave in college. I told Charles that I wanted a rabbit and a top hat. When I explained later that the rabbit came out of the hat, Charles made the painting on the right, giving his own spin to the classic feat.

 

We took the illusion one step further but (given the thievery a certain TV magician of my work), I won’t go into that here.

 

While working on my show for Lyn’s Music-Theatre Group, film director Joyce Chopra hired me to teach Diane Keaton to perform the illusion. I worked with Ms. Keaton for one week in New York and Atlantic City on her film The Lemon Sisters. Though the scene was shot with her, and a child actress also playing her character at a younger age, only the child’s performance made it into the final movie.

After I produced my bunny in my 1988 one man show “Out of Order” (produced by Lyn Austin’s award winning Music-Theatre Group) the bunny got a kiss for his hard work. Because of this show, I was hired by director Joyce Chopra to teach Diane Keaton how to make a rabbit appear from a hat.

Shortly thereafter, in 1989, after returning from a trip to Mount Everest, I was in my TV agent’s office when the phone rang. It was the casting director of the famous soap opera, All My Children.

Mathew Modine and Kourtney Donohue make Junior the rabbit appear in the opening to the 1990 movie I consulted on, “The Lemon Sisters.” Kourtney played the young version of the same character Diane Keaton played in the movie. Diane too made a rabbit appear. Junior got his own credit at the end of the movie!