A New Years Evening with Peter Reveen.
It was with great sorrow that I heard of the passing of Peter Reveen. He was a great man on so many levels. This is an excerpt from a column I wrote a few years ago about a surprise visit from Peter one New Years Eve. I have never ben a great fan of New Years Eve—most performs who have worked them aren’t, however this one proved a gentle, surprise delight. It is how I will always chose to remember Peter on a personal level Goodbye, my friend.
This year I enjoyed the quietest and most enjoyable New Years Evening that I can recall. My daughters had left Las Vegas after the Christmas holidays and Susan and I were planning to enjoy a ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ marathon. We had hosted a highly enjoyable party for our Vegas friends a few days previously and thought our socializing was complete. Then the phone rang…………
On the phone was Peter Reveen and he had remembered a conversation we had during our party about my lifelong fascination with hypnosis. I actually became a magician not through the usual chance viewing of a conjurer but because of my repeated attendance of the wonderful hypnotism show of Edwin Heath.
I have written in this column before about my respect for the enormous talent and charisma of Reveen as a magician. I have always considered his version of the Knights Tour to be one of the great theatrical magical presentations. I mentioned to Peter that one of my great regrets was never having experienced his legendary hypnosis shows.
Peter has just finished yet another tour of Canada and on my recent tours I saw an old record album of his in a music store in Halifax. The young man who sold me the album told me that he was going to be attending the Reveen show in a few days. In fact he told me he had grown up attending Peter’s shows since his early childhood! Now that is the kind of fan base to be really proud of.
On New Years Eve Peter arrived at our home with some DVD’s filmed during his hypnotic show over the years. We sat down, had a glass of wine, ate some simple food and I got to see the reason that Peter is a legend in the world of hypnotism. The skilled manner in which Peter handled the audience was a real eye opener and his pacing was a true lesson in show business.
To see the style with which audience members were brought onstage, his induction and the speed at which non-suitable volunteers were returned to the auditorium was breathtaking. Peter along with his wife Coral and son Tyrone formed a well-oiled and perfectly calibrated machine as they turned what is often the least interesting part of a hypnosis show into fascinating entertainment. Once the show began it was pure entertainment all the way. Peter’s command and presence was magnetic as he turned that group of strangers into a display of world-class entertainment. Everyone was treated with a dignity that in no way interfered with the fun.
These days Las Vegas is home to nearly as many hypnotists as magicians. Most of them present a dirty show that ultimately demeans its unpaid stars. Sure it gets laughs, however compared to the funny but family friendly Raveen experience this new breed of hypnotists kind of want to make you take a shower after watching them perform!
It was a wonderful New Years Eve: quiet, sober and in the company of a good friend from whom I learned a lot. Perfect!