Magic as entertainment thrills and excites modern audiences and enjoys widespread popularity with large venues, large performances, and big-budget television specials. But the uncommon and fascinating history of Black magicians has long been shrouded in the midst of the past.
Throughout American history, black magicians have achieved great skill in both the magicians� tricks of the trade as well as the psychology of entertaining an audience. However, because of slavery, racial segregation and discrimination, few have been able to make their living as magicians. Those who have succeeded are rare indeed, and although some have left a mark on history, many exist only as names on old playbills or in newspaper advertisements. (Conjuror Times, Black Magicians in America, 2001)
In 1999 magician and producer Randy Shine envisioned a magic show that features the best African-American magicians on one stage. The idea of producing such a show was an ambitious one.
Many magicians talked about putting together such a show but it was never done. After lengthy conversations with friends and other magicians, Randy invested his own money to produce Magie Noir (Black Magic in French) in the Shubin theatre in Philadelphia. Magie Noir featured the best African magicians in the Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey area. Due to the overwhelming response Randy decided to look for a bigger theatre and booked only the best African American magicians from all over America. Randy solicited the guidance of friends and magicians to produced the Heart & Soul of Magic.
After six months of planning, negotiating and searching the country for the best magicians, on March 3, 2002, The Heart & Soul of Magic debuted at the historical Freedom Theatre in Philadelphia. The Heart & Soul of Magic featured the visual and poetic magic of Gabriel, the enigmatic Hiawatha, classical magic by Puck, the gut-busting comedy of Chris Capehart and the legendary Frank Brents.