FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – Some of the most talented illusionists in the industry stepped off stage Tuesday, all to give patients at a local hospital a break from reality. “The Illusionists Live from Broadway” is visiting Fort Collins and Denver this week.
Two of the performers wanted to get in to the community prior to their show in Fort Collins.
Paul Dabek and Sabine VanDiemen visited UCHealth’s Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins where they performed for the inpatient rehabilitation unit.
“An optical illusion is something you think is happening, but it is not. Kind of like Brexit back in the U.K.,” Babek told the patients.
Dabek and Vandiemen used comedy and illusions to entertain the patients, most of whom are recovering from surgeries or injuries they sustained. The patients at the show were in a lengthy rehabilitation process which limited their ability to leave the hospital in time for the Illusionist performance.
Vandiemen told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas she enjoyed performing for the patients, especially knowing that she was helping distract them from their current reality.
“The awe and astonishment is just a very good satisfaction for me,” Vandiemen said.
Both Vandiemen and Dabek said performing for the small room of patients was more intimidating than performing in front of thousands on their stages.
“There’s nowhere to hide when you come and perform for a small group like this,” Dabek said.
“I was very nervous,” Vandiemen said.
However, the patients said they never noticed any intimidation, or how the illusions were completed.
“I don’t know how the hell they did that,” said Mike Steven, a patient who is recovering from double knee replacement. “(I was) literally four feet away, and I couldn’t see a slip of hand. That was pretty impressive.”
The illusionists said their talents often receive good response from the crowd. However, they added the reactions from those in the hospital were more rewarding than the typical show’s audience.
“To take people’s minds off that for even five minutes is very nice, it gives me a good feeling and I hope it gives them a good feeling,” Vandiemen said.
The Illusionists perform in Fort Collins at the Lincoln Center on Tuesday and Wednesday. They then open for a weekend of performances at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts starting April 12.