What’s the magic word?

“Have a banana!” “Oops, I mean abracadabra,” joked magician Larry Marken, a performer from the International Brotherhood of Magicians who visited Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital with a couple of magician friends while in town for a magic convention.

The team of magicians performed for one of the biggest groups the Child Life team has ever seen for an event of this sort in the Balk Café on a balmy summer day. It seemed everyone was in need of some lighthearted fun.

Magician Larry asked all the kiddos if they have pets at home and introduced them to his pet, which is kept in a special box. He named it Fang, his pet rope. Everyone laughed.

“He’s a wonderful pet…never makes messes around the house. Well-behaved too!”

“Fang, stay!” he commanded. “Fang, play dead!”

More laughter ensued.

He squeezed the rope tightly in the palm of his hand after cutting it in half and saying Abracadabra. His next trick would be reconnecting the two pieces.

“You want me to open my hand and show you, is that right? You don’t trust me that I’m able to reconnect these two pieces?”

Several kids spoke up and shared skepticism about his skills.

He soon showed off the two pieces he had tied together. The crowd seemed less than impressed until he began to move the knot up and down the piece of rope and then completely remove it, resulting in the original piece of rope.

Magic McCoy took the stage next.

He explained that magicians usually have a magic wand. And some have a magic cane. He spun a special cane in the air in front of the crowd.

His cane unexpectedly burst into a bouquet of red roses.

“I will give these to my wife when I get home,” he joked.

The magicians had several assistants grace the stage for a variety of additional tricks.

A crowd favorite involved Alexis, 6, who went on stage to help count pieces of tissue paper.

Alexis said she could count to 100, but needed her fingers to help. She ripped the tissue paper in half and counted as they multiplied. The crowd was then instructed to blow on the paper to make the magic kick in.

Alexis then began to pull out a never-ending stream of colored paper from the magician’s hands.

The kids were impressed.

Scott Hood was the final magician to perform. His closing act consisted of a magic tablecloth and small table he made rise in the air and fly back and forth in front of the crowd, who issued oohs and aahs.

“I really like your magic tricks!” one little guy exclaimed at the end of the show.