New Victory Blog

The New Victory Blog is a place to learn more about New York's theater for families and the shows we produce. Find out what we do and what we're passionate about—exploring the arts as a family.
August 24, 2017

Summer Field Guide Issue 4: Jason Bishop: Believe in Magic, Black Beauty and Air Play

What words come to your mind when you think about theater? Spectacular? Colorful? Perhaps...magical? In this Summer Field Guide, get to know three shows from the 2017-18 Season that will make you and your family believe in magic...the magic of theater! Discover illusion with Jason Bishop: Believe in Magic, storytelling with Black Beauty and the thrill of air sculpture with Air Play!
Contributed by Caroline Dowden, Summer 2017 Communications Apprentice

Jason Bishop: Believe in Magic

Jason Bishop returns with extraordinary acts and witty one-liners that will leave kids and their families awestruck and amazed. From onstage disappearances to magical snowfall, this is one mystifying marvel that can’t be missed! 

Here in New York, the art of enchantment has a charm of its own. Here are some of a magician's best kept secrets in the city!

Tannen’s Magic Store

Tannen's Magic Store

Tannen's, the oldest New York City magic shop still in operation, can be found across the street from the Empire State Building on 34th Street. This place has every magical item you could imagine: card tricks, childrens' magic books, beginners' magic guides, escape magic and much more. Come for a visit and you might see staff members perform old and new tricks. 

Fantasma Magic Shop

Fantasma Magic
Frequented by the likes of David Blaine, Fantasma Magic Shop is the place to go if you want to hone your skills. With daily demonstrations, countless cards and teachable tricks, this store has an impressive number of tools to add to your arsenal.

The Houdini Museum

Houdini Museum
The Houdini Museum is located inside Fantasma's Magic Shop. Open since 2012 , the museum offers a rare glimpse of artifacts that personally belonged to Houdini. Here, you'll find everything from publicity posters to handcuffs used in magic shows, to secret escape tools. Maybe you'll even have the chance to meet the famous magicians who perform and host lectures here. 

493 Sixth Ave: The Oldest Magic Shop in America

Get ready to travel back in time! In 1877, brothers Francis and Antonio Martinka opened a magic store in New York after years of running a conjuring shop in Essen, Germany. The store was small, but quickly evolved into a place where New York magicians gathered to discuss and practice magic. These magicians formed the world's first magic society, The Society of the American Magicians, here in 1902. Even though the location is no longer a magic shop, you can still step foot into the building where some of the world’s greatest magicians once met.
Contributed by Ruthie Ostrow, Summer 2017 Communications Apprentice

Black Beauty

In Black Beauty, brothers Andy and Andy McCuddy (yes, they have the same name—it's a family thing) discover the magic of storytelling in the wake of hard times. After finding their mom's book, Anna Sewell's Black Beauty, the brothers use their beloved horse costume and colorful imaginations to reenact portions of the story.

Stories have the power to do the impossible! They can take you on adventures in distant lands, make you happy when you're sad and bring your family closer together.  We've picked out a few of our favorite books featuring incredible journeys and sweet siblings working together. Grab a few and get reading! 

Ages 2-4
Read Me a Story Stella Read Me a Story, Stella by Marie-Louise Gay
Older sister Stella LOVES to read so she introduces her little brother, Sam, to the wide world of books. By the end of the night, lively Sam finds himself begging for more stories!
I am Not Sleepy I Am Not Sleepy and I Will Not Go to Bed by Lauren Child 
Lola absolutely refuses to go to bed. Her big brother, Charlie, helps Lola (and all of her imaginary animal friends) finally get some sleep. 

Ages 5-6
Sheila Rae, the Brave Sheila Rae, the Brave by Kevin Henkes
Sheila Rae isn't afraid of anything…until she gets lost on her way home. It's up to her scaredy-cat little sister, Louise, to guide her home and shake away her fears.
Patrick's Dinosaurs Patrick's Dinosaurs by Carol Carrick
On a trip to the zoo, Hank tells his little brother Patrick about dinosaurs. Patrick imagines what the dinosaurs might be like around the other animals.

Ages 7-9
Stage Fright on a Summer Night Stage Fright on a Summer Night by Mary Pope Osborne
Siblings Jack and Annie travel through time when they read special books in their magic tree house! In this story, the kids go back to Elizabethan England and meet William Shakespeare himself.
The Penderwicks The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall
The Penderwick sisters discover the summertime magic of Arundel estate's sprawling gardens. On their adventures, they find a treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and meet the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts.

Ages 10+
Black Beauty Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
The McCuddy family favorite! In this book, a stallion named Black Beauty tells the story of his life's many ups and downs. 
The Mighty Miss Malone The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis
12-year-old Deza Malone is a brilliant young girl whose family works hard to support each other during The Great Depression. Together, they venture "on a journey to a place called wonderful."

Now that you know some stories, it's time to act them out like Andy and Andy! Consider the characters, their settings and what they are doing. Who knows where your imagination will take you?

Air Play

Acrobuffos take magic to a whole new level with their newest creation: Air Play! In collaboration with air sculptor Daniel Wurtzel, performers Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone send familiar objects flying across the stage with balloon juggling, fabric taming and umbrella acrobatics. 
Embrace the air by making a kite! First, what will you need?
  • Cardstock
  • Wooden skewer
  • Markers or Crayons
  • Lightweight ribbon
  • Tape
  • Kite string or twine
Once you have your materials, it's time to get started!
  1. Decorate a 8 ½"-11" piece of cardstock with markers or crayons. Once it's completely colored, fold the cardstock in half as if you were making a card. 
  2. Draw a mark 1.5"-2" from the seam on the top of the paper. Draw another mark 1.5"-2" from the opening on the bottom of the paper. Connect the marks with a line.
  3. Fold the paper along the line. Repeat steps 2 and 3 on the other side. 
  4. Glue or tape together the two sides at the seam. 
  5. Reinforce the kite by attaching a skewer across the wingspan at the widest part.
  6. Make a mark at the top of the kite about ⅓ of the kite's length.. Reinforce with tape, then punch a hole at the mark. Attach up to 15 feet of kite string or twine. 
  7. Attach three to five feet of lightweight ribbon to the bottom of the kite. 
Once your work is complete, let loose and send it flying. Check out these simple kite designs for more details and other styles to try! 

Jason BishopBlack Beauty
Air Play
Interested in joining us next season? Learn more about Jason Bishop: Believe in Magic, Black Beauty and Air Play here!
Posted by Beth Henderson
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