Friday, 12 April 2013

Reveen: Remembering the Impossiblist

The man they call Reveen
"Coming on, the man they call Reveen"
"You'll never forget – Reveen"
- from the commercial advertising
Reveen's show in Lethbridge

The other day I heard that Reveen died. It was a name I had not heard in a long time. I didn't even know his name was actually Reveen – Peter Reveen. It brought back some fond memories, not just of a great show, but a particular time in my life that was changing.

A night on the town
It was the first time I ever got to go out with a friend. It was junior high and the call came around 7 p.m. on a school night. It was Mike Hartman, my old friend and basketball teammate. He got straight to the point

"Do you wanna go see Reveen?"

I jumped at the chance. I'd seen the commercials, like the one at the right here. I'm pretty sure Mike had seen Reveen before, and was quite impressed. I sure was when the night finally came.

If memory serves, Mike's dad Gary actually picked me up on the farm, and took us to the Sportsplex in Lethbridge, home of the Lethbridge Broncos of the Western Hockey League. I'd been there before with my parents for Bronco games, but never with a friend. Now, it's called the Enmax Centre, home of the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the WHL. It was cool. We found our seats, and Mr. Hartman stayed put while Mike and I wandered around the arena for awhile.

On with the show
Then the show started. Reveen took the stage, and looked to me like Wolfgang Jack, only with an Australian accent.

Reveen never used the word hypnosis. Instead, he used the description "a state of super consciousness". I read all about that in the program Mike bought. The other striking memory was that he never made fun of the people on stage who were "under his spell". It was a clean show, something Reveen prided himself on.

He asked for volunteers who had to be a certain age. They all made their way to the stage, and Reveen had a "try out". People were asked to close their eyes and concentrate. They had to lock their hands or arms together, and do some other stuff. Reveen wandered among them, eventually determining who could achieve "super consciousness" and who could not. He announced an intermission so those not chosen could return to their seats, while the chosen ones remained on stage.

Then it was show time.

There were a lot laughs. The one guy in particular that I remember was in love with a fictitious wife named Chloe. Reveen told him Chloe had run off, so the guy went all over the arena chasing after Chloe. There were other performances, and periodically this guy would appear somewhere around the arena yelling for Chloe. Even when the performance was over, and Reveen was bringing everyone around, the last thing this guy said was, "Look Chloe, I know you're around here somewhere."

We laughed all the way home.

It was a great night, and life changing. I began to go out with my friends more and more, but that was pretty much the first time. I hadn't thought about it in years, until I heard Reveen had died.

So there he was providing entertainment one last time, and a chance to reminisce. Rest in peace Peter Reveen – hopefully you've achieved your own state of super consciousness.

1 comment:

  1. Somewhere in my stack of journals from the 80s I have a lengthy entry on all the shenanigans that happened when I saw Reveen at the Regina Centre of the Arts.