Il­lu­sions of grandeur

‘David Blaine Live’ tour stops Satur­day at the Tivoli

Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow - - OUT & ABOUT - STAFF RE­PORT

If you caught David Blaine’s ap­pear­ance on “The Late, Late Show With James Cor­den” last week, you saw his lat­est mind-blow­ing stunt.

The il­lu­sion­ist first had Cor­den push a sew­ing nee­dle through his right cheek, with a hand­ful of au­di­ence guests on­stage watch­ing, to ver­ify these were real nee­dles he was work­ing with. As if that didn’t have the au­di­ence squirm­ing in their seats enough, Blaine next ate two sew­ing nee­dles, then two more, then two more be­fore pulling the one out of his cheek and chew­ing it, too. Af­ter each set of nee­dles was swal­lowed, Blaine would open his mouth for Cor­den and cam­eras to see the nee­dles were gone.

He next picked up a brandy snifter, bit into it, chewed up that bite and swal­lowed the glass. By now the au­di­ence was audibly moan­ing at the masochis­tic magic.

Blaine next un­rolled a length of thread off a spool, put it in his mouth and chewed. Cor­den and his au­di­ence were left gasp­ing in amaze­ment when the ma­gi­cian reached into his mouth and pulled out the cot­ton strand threaded with all the nee­dles he had con­sumed.

Blaine said that’s one of his new tricks, so per­haps it will be in his show Satur­day night, June 2, when Blaine works his magic on the Tivoli The­atre audi- ence. Af­ter all, “David Blaine Live” is billed as an “in­ter­ac­tive ex­pe­ri­ence to shock and awe au­di­ences.”

Fo r more than a decade, Bl a i n e has att racted t he at­ten­tion of the world with high- pro­file phys­i­cal en­durance stunts.

Af­ter start­ing his ca­reer as a street ma­gi­cian who ap­peared to do the im­pos­si­ble with a deck of cards, he was soon fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of Hou­dini — seek­ing out stunts that seem phys­i­cally im­pos­si­ble and do­ing them.

Fol­low­ing are ex­am­ples: › Buried Alive: Blaine’s first live stunt was a feat even Hou­dini was un­able to do. Blaine was en­tombed in an un­der­ground plas­tic box be­neath a 3- ton water tank for seven days with no food and lit­tle water. › Frozen in Time: Blaine en­cased him­self in a large block of ice in Times Square. He was cut free with chain­saws af­ter nearly 64 hours. ›

Ver­tigo: Blaine stood atop a 100-foot-tall pil­lar in Bryant Park for 36 hours with­out a safety net, then leaped into a stack of card­board boxes on live tele­vi­sion. › Above the Below: Blaine spent 44 days with no food in­side a trans­par­ent box above the Thames River in

Lon­don. Th e New Eng­land Journal of Medicine pub­lished a pa­per that doc­u­mented his fast, stat­ing it re­sulted in the loss of 25 per­cent of his body weight. › Drowned Alive: Blaine spent one week sub­merged in a sphere­shaped aquar­ium at Lin­coln Cen­ter. ›

Elec­tri­fied: Blaine’s last stunt put him on the re­ceiv­ing end of a mil­lion volts dis­charged at him con­tin­u­ously for 72 hours from seven Tesla coils.

An as­tound­ing pro­gram is cer­tainly in the cards for Satur­day night.

For more in­for­ma­tion: 423-757-5580.

AC EN­TER­TAIN­MENT CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

David Blaine

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