Magic and laughter took over Club Stewart’s main ballroom Friday night as comedian David Beck and mind-reading magicians Jeff and Kimberly Bornstein performed for soldiers, retirees and family members during a special Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation-sponsored event called Operation Magic.
The fun began when Jeff Bornstein visited guests at their tables during dinner, dazzling them with coin and card tricks. Athline Mathews, wife of FMWR marketing and publicity specialist Bob Mathews, accepted two silver dollars from Bornstein, who kept two for himself. Moments later, however, the magician opened his hand to reveal all four coins. He then upped the “wow factor” with an unexpected card trick.
“Whoever I can make laugh or entertain — that’s my audience,” Bornstein said as he lightheartedly described his act as a sort of “hit-or-miss” event. “If a (card or coin) trick doesn’t work, it’s comedy. If it works, it’s magic.”
A magician, comedian, actor and stuntman, Bornstein served nine years in the Army. He and his wife, Kimberly, an Oklahoma farm girl, said they enjoy entertaining troops and have taken their act to disabled veterans at VA hospitals and to active-duty service members serving in Iraq. The couple said they enjoy meeting and greeting soldiers, whom they consider heroes.
Beck kicked off his portion of the show with a stand-up act that had guests shaking with laughter; some had tears in their eyes. His comical observations of everyday events included trying on a pair of Oakley sunglasses then finding out they cost more than $400.
“She said they weren’t ordinary sunglasses,” Beck explained, grinning. “She said these sunglasses were bulletproof — that they could withstand the blast of a 12-gauge shotgun. I thought about it a second then I told her, ‘Yeah, the glasses might be bulletproof but my face ain’t.’”
Beck also shared with the crowd an experience he once had with a sarcastic sales associate at a well-known home-improvement warehouse. Beck said he asked about the difficulty level of electrical outlet installation.
“‘Ah, I could teach a monkey to do it,’ the guy told me,” Beck said. “‘You can train monkeys!’ I asked him. ‘Then what are you doing working here?!’”
Kimberly Bornstein’s mind reading awed guests as Jeff Bornstein selected members of the audience and asked them to remove items from their wallets for his wife, who was blindfolded, to identify.
Bornstein invited a Fort Stewart soldier to join her on stage and asked him to take some money from his wallet and put it in an envelope. Bornstein noted the small amount of cash the soldier was carrying and joked about it.
“There’s proof you’re a married man,” Bornstein said, causing married men throughout the ballroom to laugh and nod their heads in agreement.
Though blindfolded, Kimberly not only told the soldier how much money he put in the envelope but identified two other items from his wallet, including his military identification card and his credit card. She even correctly recited the last three digits on the soldier’s credit card.
Operation Magic took its show to Hunter Army Airfield on Saturday while another comedy show, called Laugh Out Loud, was held at Club Stewart’s Thunder Run on Saturday.