Describe a (stage) illusion you'd like to see

What’s a trick that seems doable (ie, not clearly violating the laws of physics) that you’d love to see a magician perform?

I think this would be great: magician walks on stage carrying an 8-foot length of light plastic pipe, 2-foot diameter, balanced on his shoulder. Rotates slowly around so the audience can look all the way down the pipe, it’s empty. He puts it down with its side to the audience. He pulls a dog biscuit out of his pocket, puts it down to one side of the pipe. A miniature poodle comes running out from the wings on the other side of the stage, runs into the pipe. Then from the other end of the pipe, where the treat is, a STANDARD poodle (same coloration etc) emerges, grabs the treat, runs back into the pipe… and a miniature poodle with a treat in its mouth pops back out of the other side, runs into the wings. Magicians picks the pipe back up, spins it around, still empty.

Too easily done with trapdoors in stage and pipe. Put it on some kind of narrow supports.

Saw a woman in half-lengthwise.

The question there is do you saw through her head or cut her at an angle?
For that matter, how about a totally uncovered sawing in half? Like Copperfield’s death sawing, but without the box covering the subject much of the time (it doesn’t take a Ph.D. to figure out why the box is there). Probably impossible but would be stunning if you could do it.

Okay, let’s do even better:
Saw female in half. (For some reason, this is only known to work with a female, right?) Inside a box, with head sticking out one side, feet sticking out other side.

Two assistants come on stage, with hand-trucks. One puts head-end of box (including head sticking out) on one hand-truck. Other puts feet-end of box (including feet sticking out) on other hand-truck. Assistants roll hand-trucks, with the separate halves of the box (and the female, because this only works with females) into the aisles, one on the left side of the theater and one on the right side of the theater, to the back of the theater, where a separate stage has been set up.

Re-assemble the two halves of the box (and the female, because this only works with females), open the box, and the female sits up, as good as new!

Now THAT would be stunning.

But if you tried it with a male subject, either it would necessarily fail (because this only works with females, you know), or if it were to succeed, the audience would just yawn because in that case it would be SO mundane.


Making a second Statue of Liberty appear next to the existing one.

Maybe that violates the OP’s limiting it to within the laws of physics.

Crucifixion reenactment.

Not on stage but there is this Chriss Angel “trick” done on his TV show. Amazingly hacky. Obviously all camera cuts and shills.

This probably isn’t quite what you were envisioning, but I think it qualifies as a totally uncovered sawing in half, and is a damn fine illusion.

  1. Get a large glass container full of water
  2. Drop Justin Bieber, The Kardashians, The Tea Party, FOX News, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Lou Holtz into the container with their hands behind their backs and blindfolds on
  3. Close a curtain over the container
  4. Wait a week
  5. Open the curtains
  6. They’re gone!
  7. Ta-da!


I don’t see any reason why this would fail with the standard version of the trick. There is no problem separating the two halves by any distance.

There was a nice one described in a short story – Bradbury I think.

You blow bubbles, and inside each bubble is a scene from history being acted out, like a 3D video. Hannibal crossing the Alps, the charge of the Light Brigade, that sort of thing.

The OP requirement was that it not violate any physical laws, and I don’t know of any physical laws that this violates. I don’t know how to do it, either. But then every stage illusion that has ever been performed violated no physical laws and I didn’t know how to do it.

On Ron Bennington’s SiriusXM show Penn Jillette described the trick they were attempting to perfect but was frustrating them. He went into great detail as to what the difficulties were. He ended with, “All I want is to make a cow disguised as an elephant surrounded by audience members disappear off the stage. Is that too much to ask?”

No, its not.