This Magic Moment by
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Cirque du Soleil, Jan. 2018

This prompt asks “Do You Believe in Magic?” which, of course, is a Lovin’ Spoonful song, although I wasn’t the one who suggested that title. I am a big fan of the group, and have seen them perform three times. Once, in 1968, they were actually the band at a dance I went to. It was fun to dance to their music, maybe even a little magical!

For me, there are all kinds of magic to be found -- in music, books, acrobatics, and even websites that fix themselves.

Reading the Harry Potter books, and then seeing all the movies, made me wish their magic was real. How great to be able to wave a wand and cause something to happen. Or even better, flue powder (or was it floo powder?) that would transport you instantly from one place to another via the fireplace. So many times when I have been contemplating a long airplane flight to the East Coast or abroad, I have wished I could get there by flue powder instead.

Then there are magic shows by professionals such as David Copperfield or Penn and Teller. Penn and Teller have a TV show called Fool Us, which started in 2014 and may still be on the air. Contestants perform a magic trick, and if Penn and Teller can’t figure out how the trick was done, the contestant wins a spot in their Las Vegas magic show.

The one time I went to Las Vegas, in 2018 with my daughter Molly, Penn and Teller were doing their show there. Now I’m sorry I didn’t go see it, so I could have written about it here. But I am not sorry about what we saw instead, Cirque du Soleil, which is a different kind of magic. At the time there were seven different Cirque du Soleil shows being performed in Vegas, including a Michael Jackson show, a burlesque, and an underwater show, and it was difficult to decide which tickets to buy. In the end, I let Molly choose. Much to my surprise, she picked “Love,” which was perfomed to the songs of the Beatles. It was surprising in that she had always complained that she had a traumatic childhood because she was forced by her older siblings to listen to Sixties music. I, of course recognized all the songs, while she only knew a few of them. But we both were equally enchanted by the show.

The Cirque performers display such amazing feats of acrobatics that it actually seems like magic. How can mere mortals possibly do all those things with their bodies? The lighting, costumes, scenery, and of course music, contribute to the magical feel, but it is the gyrations of the people on stage that can best be described as mesmerizing. Magic. The featured image is from the Octopus’s Garden sequence. I wish now that I had taken a video instead of just still pictures, because it is impossible to capture it in words. You can find some of their performances on youtube, if you are curious, which will give you some slight idea of what they are like, although it is not remotely comparable to seeing them in person. If you have never been to a Cirque du Soleil show, I recommend you go if they come to a location anywhere near you, so that you too can experience the magic.

As many of you know, Retrospect was down for several hours this past Tuesday. I was on vacation in Colorado, and feeling pretty helpless to do anything about it. Finally, at around 3 p.m., I called the web developer on the phone, but after a few rings I was disconnected. Then I sent him an email asking for help. A little later, the site came back up, and we gratefully assumed he had managed to fix it. However, on Wednesday morning, I received this response from him: “My apology, but I was away from my phone for about an hour when you called — and when I did see your messages the site was already back.” So he had nothing to do with it, and the site fixed itself. I call that magic!


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Characterizations: funny, right on!, well written


  1. John Shutkin says:

    I’ve seen Cirque du Soleil acts on TV and have also been impressed with their “magic.” But have always been a bit skeptical since, of course, it is so much easier to get away with tricks with the benefit of video special effects. So it’s quite something to learn from you that the show was equally amazing live.

    And, as to your p.s., as someone who noticed that Retro was down this last week, I, too, was delighted when it “magically” reappeared. Particularly since, when I first couldn’t get on the site, I figured it was something that I had done to screw things up.

  2. Marian says:

    Sometime the internet does work like magic, Suzy, as we found out earlier this week. I’m a big Cirque du Soleil fan and have seen several of their shows here in San Jose, and they are magical all around. The next time we both are in Las Vegas, we can “swap” shows and you can see Penn and Teller and I’ll go to Cirque.

  3. Khati Hendry says:

    Cirque du Soleil is just amazing—it does seem magical even though I think most of what they do is the real deal, not illusion. Which is even more amazing. This prompt also got me humming Lovin’ Spoonful all week—an up for sure.

  4. Thanx Suzy, I have seen Cirque du Soleil and their feats are indeed magical!

    And the technology that runs our Retro site is indeed magical too!

  5. Betsy Pfau says:

    Our Vicki is a HUGE fan of Cirque du Soleil. We saw our first show in 2003 on our brief stop-over in Vegas before continuing on through the National Parks. We saw “O” then; remarkable! The next night, we tried for Penn and Teller, but they were sold out, and Siegfried and Roy, who were on vacation (I don’t have to tell you how they fared). Subsequently, anytime the traveling Cirque shows came to Boston, we took her and always marveled at their genius. We have not been back to Vegas to see any of the new shows in residence.

    I can’t believe that WordPress magically reappeared after being down for a day. I guess I’d call that Kismet, which is a form of magic. How lucky for all of us!

  6. Your postscript was fun! I only wish the same magic would restore my receipt of email notifications when someone comments on one of my stories, or if they would also notify me if an author responds to my comments.

    I love the Cirque! I got to see what I believe was their first show in the USA. It was on Santa Monica Pier in the mid to late 1980s. I do recall using words ike “spectacular” and “magical” at the time. Thanks for rekindling and reminding me of that sense of excitement.

  7. Laurie Levy says:

    We saw that Cirque du Soleil show Love, as well as a couple of others, but that one was our favorite. Whenever anything involving electronics or technology “fixes itself, ” I call that true magic. Of course, I have no idea how or why it happened, so the next time I may wait in vain and have to call in the geeks.

  8. Suzy,
    I saw Penn and Teller in Vegas, and the magic trick would be to get my money back. A real snoozer, including the climactic moment when one of them shoots the other who catches the bullet in his teeth.
    But I also saw a Cirque in Vegas, the aquatic one, and I agree w you that they put on a wowzer of a show. Hard to pull myself from the craps table for that long, but probably saved me a lot of money.

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