Since 1962, more than 6 million people in Canada have taken in The Reveen Show, an entertaining, family-friendly superconscious journey that has delighted show-goers from coast-to-coast. Developed and founded by Australian native Peter Reveen, his son Ty has taken up the torch to carry on his father’s legacy following the elder Reveen’s unfortunate passing in 2013.
“My father did a tour back in 2000 where we discussed the reins of the show eventually being handed over to me. It just seemed like such a natural thing to do.”
But with both the show’s reputation and the family name at stake, Ty clarifies the production was not handed to him on a silver platter. Ty says his parents put him through a grueling three-day long audition to be sure he was up to the task.
“After that, they had me perform before 200 magicians at one of Las Vegas’ biggest magic clubs. It was the ultimate kind of test, to be sure I could deliver under pressure,” Ty says.
Launching the second generation of the Reveen show in 2012, Ty has since been performing all over Canada. He shares that the show’s broad appeal is reflected in the audience make-up he sees each night from the stage.
“What I am arguably most proud of is the way that this show brings people together. We are proud to offer a family-friendly show that can help entertain people with the abilities of the human mind. It can be funny and fascinating, but the show is always respectful.”
Ty says his father’s fascination with hypnosis came as the indirect result of a challenging childhood.
“When my father was five years old, [my grandfather] decided to enlist [to serve] in the Second World War with a bunch of his mates,” Ty begins. “His mother was so upset about his decision that she basically walked out on the family. Understandably, that abandonment always haunted my father; he blamed himself for his mother’s leaving.”
“My grandfather returned from the war as the only one of his seven friends that had survived. Following his return home to Australia, my grandfather basically crawled into a bottle and lost the ability to express any kind of emotion.”
While his home situation was not ideal, Ty says his father found a somewhat unexpected refuge in the world of magic. Upon his discovery of a magic shop in Melbourne, Peter pledged to learn as many tricks as he could.
“The shop owner convinced him that instead of trying to learn a number of different magic tricks, he should focus on perfecting just one to start. He made my father take magic seriously and encouraged him to practice at every available opportunity. He even told him to return to the store to show the shop owner what he could do before he showed anyone else.”
Before long, Peter was being hired by his friend’s parents to perform at birthday parties.
He subsequently became interested in hypnosis at the age of eight, Ty says, and by the age of 12, was poreing over countless medical manuscripts on the subject, spending his spare time in libraries and sending away for information to learn more.
Though many would question Peter’s ability with hypnosis, some even suggesting it was nothing more than a form of black magic, Ty says his father subsequently began looking to put a show together in which he could use his hypnotic abilities for entertainment purposes.
Within just a few years, Reveen’s show was selling out venues throughout Australia. While thrilled with the success he had found, Ty says his father felt as though the show was being somewhat taken for granted by promoters.
“My father had become incredibly well-known from coast to coast in Australia, but felt there was still a certain reticence among promoters about giving him his ‘big break’ and proper due.”
It was then that Peter set his sights on Canada, landing in Vancouver in 1961.
“He approached Famous Players with a wager,” Ty says. “He told them to put his show in the most challenging market at the most challenging time of year and, if he could sell out the performance, they would in turn give him a contract to bring his show across the country.”
And so it was in Moose Jaw, Sask. in the week before Christmas 1962 that Reveen successfully performed before a sold-out house. Ty says Famous Players happily held up their end of the bargain, sending his father across country to rapturously enthralled audiences in a tradition that would endure during the following four decades.
Ty says while he was always in awe of his father’s abilities, he was 14 years old when he first started working for the Reveen show. While he temporarily stepped away from the production for a period of almost 15 years during which time he designed concert stage concepts for ZZ Top, David Copperfield and Siegfried & Roy, among others.
When: Friday Oct. 14, 8 p.m.
Where: Riverview Arts Centre, 400 Whitepine Rd., Riverview
Tickets are $29.99. Advance tickets are available at Sobeys (1160 Findlay Blvd. Riverview), Jean Coutu (438 Coverdale Rd., Riverview), Frank’s Music (245 Carson Dr., Moncton) and online at riverviewartscentre.ca