By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – About 50 children and their parents had the opportunity to watch the Brian Lehr magic show Wednesday afternoon, an annual happening tied into the Morinville Public Library’s summer reading program. As with past iterations of Lehr’s summer show, the Edmonton-based magician tailored his performance to match the summer reading program’s theme – this year’s theme has to do with water and the beach.
But whether providing tricks about spies, the jungle or the beach, what makes Lehr’s show truly magical is his presentation and attitude. Lehr has that rare quality seldom found in children’s entertainers – the ability to meet his audience half way. Rather than talk down to his audience or over their heads as many performers do, Lehr brings himself half way down to their level by having that wide-eyed wonder of a child, and brings his audience up part way to his level by treating his audience with the same respect one would give a co-worker. And Lehr has many co-workers in his 45-minute performance, allowing children in the audience to participate in the magic as volunteer assistants.
Whether its pulling invisible coins out of the air, magically colouring the pages of a colouring book or giving an assistant an ever-increasing-sized magic wand, Lehr is able to produce something we see too little of today – a room full of children screaming with laughter. But perhaps the most magical part is Lehr’s ability to transform parents’ faces to the same wild grins their children experience.