The kids at PS 209 in Sheepshead Bay had a magical Halloween — even if it did come a month late.
The students were supposed to see magician and mind-reader Michael Lee — famous for his Houdini-esque escape stunts — on Oct. 31, but Hurricane Sandy intervened. The organizers of the event decided that the boys and girls still deserved to see the show, especially as many of them are still grappling with the devastating after-effects of the super storm.
“It seemed like it would be a good idea to cheer their spirits,” said Parent-Teacher Association President Angelo Echevarria, a former magic performer who had opened for Lee in the past and kept in touch with him. Echevarria said many of the students and teachers at PS 209 are still staying with friends and relatives, while the school has also taken on a number of children from other districts that suffered even worse damage.
Lee said he was enthusiastic about the opportunity to perform his tricks for kids, and insisted on going on with the show.
“Doing this show gave me a great opportunity to go back to my roots and do something for the community,” said the illusionist, who has performed for President Clinton. “I got in touch with Angelo, and I said, ‘Let’s absolutely find a way to do this.’ ”
So on Nov. 30, more than 400 pre-kindergarten to fourth grade students packed the auditorium to watch Lee perform classic card sleight-of-hands and psychic feats, as the entertainer pulled cards out of thin air — and put them back! — and intuited their thoughts. The kids even got to participate in an escape trick, as several climbed the stage to bind Lee’s wrists — only to have him effortlessly pull free.
“They were roaring, clapping,” said Parent-Teacher Association secretary Francie Piechowiak. “It was excellent.”Reach reporter Will Bredderman at (718) 260–4507 or e-mail him at wbredderma