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Tricks of the trade

Veteran magician to perform with peers

Veteran magician to perform with peers

August 17, 2006|by TIFFANY ARNOLD

Each show had to be great. There was no way of knowing whether it would be the last time a viewer would see Hugh McVeagh's magic tricks.

When he wasn't teaching magic, the Washington County magician spent the majority of his career performing for terminally ill children, who watched his weekly shows in an auditorium at the National Institutes of Health's cancer institute in Bethesda, Md.

"There were a lot of kids who were never able to see a second show," said McVeagh, 78, of Halfway.

McVeagh is one of nine performers slated for the Festival of Magic on Saturday at The Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown. Performers include Grant Berry, David Bowers, Dean Burkett, Khan Du and Company, Jerry Mullenix, Louis Paul, Derrick Robey and John Swomley.

Years of performing and teaching magic to the young, sick and dying has given McVeagh a deeper appreciation for the craft, he said.

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He does occasional shows for small parties or at bars and restaurants. McVeagh, a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, Ring 94, also teaches magic classes for Washington County Parks and Recreation at Hagerstown Community College.

McVeagh said he specializes in card tricks and "close-up" magic, which involves sleight of hand with small objects. While audience members won't know what to expect when it comes to the outcomes of his trickery, they should be prepared to see a man who's passionate about what he does.




If you go ...



WHAT: bFestival of Magic

WHEN: 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19

WHERE:b The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown

COST:b $10

MORE: For more information, call the box office at 301-790-2000.

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