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Articles about Ben Robinson

The Manhattan Magician
This Sagittarian month, we celebrate Ben Robinson’s 20 years performing in New York City as …

Written and compiled by E. R. Rose

An impromtu performance at The Center for Jewish History in front of the original Houdini Water Torture Cell. He magically made the paper hat worn by the teacher in the background and also told the children about the great mystifier. Photo: P. Isles

Robinson makes a glass of Jack Daniels float in his hangout, Circa Tabac in SoHo.

Summer 2002, saluting the Society of American Magicians Centennial and during a concert performance with Rebecca Moore and her band Prevention of Blindness at the famous Naumburg bandshell in Central Park, August 2001. Robinson called his sequence with Moore’s band, “The best 3 minutes of magic I’ve ever done.”

Robinson makes a glass of Jack Daniels float in his hangout, Circa Tabac in SoHo

August, 2001 Robinson hosts an avant garde concert at the Central Park bandshell. Images below convey Kate Milliken opening the video, card hurling, a dramtic guillotine illusion. 3 weeks later, the world changed.

A scene from the 1999 video Ben Robinson: Master Cold Reader by Karl Petry.

A performance at a party in SoHo, Summer, 2000. Robinson says “I really like this picture because it is not posed, shows a common moment of a magician’s performance, and illustrates the real art of close up magic, unaided by TV editorial tricks .”Photo: Susanna Gaterud

December 1999, Ben Robinson is the first professional magician to lecture at The Parapsychology Foundation in New York. Speaking on the subject of synchronicity, or meaningful coincidences. In 2001 he released his ten years of research on CD:Ben Robinson on Synchonicity.

Facing a marksman, and catching a live bullet between his teeth, Halloween, 1997. Taped in New York, on a rifle range (paid double the hourly fee in advance in case anything went wrong!), Robinson’s 6th and last bullet catch. Will there be another? Will he join those he wrote about in his acclaimed volume Twelve Have Died ?

A realistic illusion for Kate Teale’s art gallery exhibit in 1997 in midtown Manhattan. The bloody arm was cut and restored in a small film, which was the only non static image in the show.

A blast of fire opens Robinson’s show at the Rose Room at Lincoln Center in 1994; a show he produced starring the Off B’way hit, STOMP.

As a possessed shaman, Robinson dancing, backed by a contortionist and the first home movies ever made–of his father and grandfather as a young men.

1995: Pace University Theatre, downtown, New York. Ben Robinson’s show GHOST mixing rock ‘n roll, magic, 1920’s silent film of his grandfather, father and circus performers. Created with composer Dan Seiden, who wrote the title song, the long-haired Robinson spent a year touring with the band before launching this show that would eventually tour nationally and influence David Copperfield, The Rolling Stones, Cirque du Soleil and appear on The Today Show on NBC.

1989: Above -  from Robinson’s guest appearances on MTV’s Big Show starring Weird Al Yankovic. 

In 1989, Ben Robinson zings a card into the air at the West 67th St. ABC-TV studio for the biggest star in daytime TV, Susan Lucci, on the long running series All My Children.Next to her is actor Walt Willy who was annoyed that Robinson’s rabbit, named Willie, received more attention on the set than he did. He muttered, “Damn rabbit doesn’t even act.”

The one man show that Robinson brought to a theatre on the Lower East Side of NY after it debuted under the name Out Of Order in Stockbridge, MA the summer of 1988. Both productions had music by Mark Bennett. Nine months later, his one man show, After Magic? was attended by MTV scouts, talent agents and film directors, as reviews in Stockbridge called the show “A must see.” He gave 7 sold out perormances at Theatre Club Funambules. 36 hours later he left on a 6-week journey to Nepal and Mount Everest.Photo copyright: Jim Moore, 2002