, Salem, MA

Local News

November 16, 2012

Staging a sale in Beverly

Magic show to sell half its costumes

BEVERLY — For 35 years, the exotic costumes for Le Grand David and His Own Spectacular Magic Company were as much a part of the performance as levitations and disappearing doves.

Now, the flowing kimonos, bejeweled turbans, gold lamé pants, sequined tops and colorful clown wigs that created such a visual feast for audiences are up for sale.

With the show on hiatus following the death of its founder, Cesareo Palaez, in March, the remaining members of the magic company have decided to sell off about half of the 2,000 costumes in its collection.

The sale is scheduled for tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Cabot Street Cinema Theatre, where the show set a Guinness record as the world’s longest-running stage magic show.

David Bull, the leader of the company who played Le Grand David, said the show could return at some point, but the company is now about one-third the size of its original 70-member cast and no longer needs its entire wardrobe.

Standing among the costumes hanging on racks, packed in storage bins and spread across the floor in a nearby building, Bull said yesterday, “We just don’t need all this.”

Many of the costumes were handmade by cast members, often from fabric that Bull said performers would purchase in their travels to places like Paris and New York City.

The colorful fabrics were embroidered with sequins and embellished with tassels and pearls and intricate designs. Some of the women in the company were accomplished seamstresses, while others learned as they went.

Many of the costumes have an Oriental look, although Bull said there was no intention to replicate a particular cultural or time period.

“We were trying to replicate this fantastic experience where people can be transported,” he said. “It’s more of a fantasy idea.”

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