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Presto!

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Forget the movie magic of recent cineplex hits The Illusionist and The Prestige. Real magicians do it with sleight of hand. And real magic-makers will be at their confounding best at Bartlett Performing Arts and Conference Center on Saturday, November 4th, giving audience members "A Magical Experience."

The night's wonderment will be courtesy of the Society of Memphis Magicians, a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM). The IBM is more than 200 years old and has member groups, called Rings, in 73 countries. The Memphis chapter is Ring 16, one of the oldest chapters in the country. The group provides a vehicle for amateur magicians to advance their craft under the guidance of masters and professionals to fine-tune their mad skills to a degree that befuddles even the most expert of eye.

Performers Saturday include JustLarry, a trickster and professional circus clown who -- yes, it's true -- ran off to join the circus when he was a young man; Jim Surprise, a magic vet who was named Memphis' best magician by WMC-TV; Kid Davie, whose complex physical gifts make him almost a human Rube Goldberg device; and Margarette LeClaire, who will attempt a suspended straight-jacket escape. Expect a night of illusion, card tricks, comedy, mind reading -- even bunnies!

You'll leave the show wondering how they did it, but don't bother asking them. They won't tell.

"A Magical Experience," Bartlett Performing Arts and Conference Center, Saturday, November 4th, 7 p.m. $12. 385-6440. Go to www.bpacc.org for more information.

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