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Magic show gets kids caught in the act

December 10, 2018 GMT

La PORTE – Boston Middle School was the site of some serious magic during the La Porte County Sheriff’s Department’s annual Children’s Christmas Show on Saturday.

Free of charge, around 70 children were present for magician Kalita, and his daughter Maya, who took the stage to surprise and awe the crowd. Prior to the show, balloon sculptor Nettie Bell was on hand to make balloon animals, hats and swords for the children.

Kalita told the audience he saw a magic show when he was a child, demonstrating a rope trick that got him into the art of magic. He made two separate pieces of rope into one, stating it was the first trick he ever saw.

Kalita gave the rope to one of the children, Jordan, who assisted him on stage by wearing a faux tuxedo that he controlled the arms in order to do illusionary magic — including making colored handkerchiefs appear, disappear and tie themselves together. Kalita gave Jordan a game, “Hocus Pocus,” just as he had been given back in 1966.

Many live animals appeared and disappeared during Kalita’s act, including the unveiling of a real chicken from beneath a cloth, the classic rabbit in a hat, a white and a black dove from a fiery pan and a black and white cat from an empty cage. There were even fish – a gold fish to be exact — that he used a fishing pole to reel in from a bowl of several gold fish out of a seemingly empty container.

Kalita asked the crowd to shout “I” to be in his next act, deciding on a girl, Aya, to assist him. He had a gift bag that he pulled a teddy bear from to give to her. As she walked off stage with the bag, Kalita shouted for her to come back. She had squeezed the bear too hard and transformed it. As she gave him his gift bag back, he pulled a pound of chocolate out of the bag that had just contained the teddy bear. After giving Aya the chocolate, he showed everyone the bag was empty. He then tapped the bag several times, to reveal the bear was back inside, which made Aya smile as he handed it back to her to keep.

All of a sudden, funeral procession music played ominously as Kalita asked if there were any boys or girls who had been naughty this year. After choosing a volunteer, Miley, he revealed a large guillotine and locked her head into the frightening device.

After teasing the crowd with a count of three, which he counted several times over, first asking the audience, then Miley, then the audience again, he pulled a severed (fake) head from a basket — stating he forgot to place it under Miley’s head in order to catch it.

After another count of three, he prolonged the experience again by saying he forgot his “mad scientist” lab coat, which he then adorned. Another three count and the guillotine slammed down and screams erupted from the audience. It had somehow cut a piece of celery but not the child’s head.

His assistant Maya then laid down on a table. Kalita began chanting and waving while she seemingly levitated several feet in the air. Kalita ran a hoola hoop back and fourth along her levitating body to show no strings were attached, to the awe of the crowd.

Kalita then asked if “anybody was hungry for a snack” and began cracking some eggs into a pan. He set the pan on fire, and shot several fireballs from his fingers into the air. After putting a lid on the pan, he opened it back up to release a dove that was inside. He closed the lid again, setting it back aflame, only to open it again with yet another dove appearing from inside the pan.

After a multitude of slight of hand and illusionary magic, the show ended with a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, who remained on stage to speak with the children one at a time to find out what they wished for Christmas this year. Each child was given a bag of candy, a toy and a book.

“I couldn’t believe it!” said Haley Normen, 9, of La Porte. She had never been to a magic show before, but would gladly see another.

“My favorite part was the kitty cat, it was so cute, I don’t know how he did that,” she said. Waiting in line for Santa, she said she wanted “a big dollhouse.”

“When he had the guillotine, I was scared for the girl, my little sister closed her eyes. I thought it was the best trick,” said Derrick Enlet, 7, of New Prairie. This was his second magic show. “I’m going to ask for action figures.”

Barbie Wayland, 12, of La Porte, thought it was an amazing magic show.

“He did everything! I liked when he had the girl levitating, it was so real,” she said, as she stood in line to see Santa. “I’m going to ask Santa for a horse that wears clothes and some bright colored Nikes.”

“I liked all the animals he had. That was cool when fire shot out, I didn’t expect a dove to come out of there,” said Dyllan Jackson, 9, of La Porte. “I think I want Legos. Or maybe Ironman. I don’t know yet.”