BUDAPEST, Hungary — Renowned magician The Great Buddini will make a triumphant return to the city this summer with a limited run of performances at the historic Thália Színház, his publicist announced on Friday.
The Great Buddini electrified audiences in his last appearance in Budapest, when he made entire bag of Blue Buffalo Bursts vanish, then conjured up a roast turkey before making it disappear again. In all, he made 17 different types of food dematerialize into his mouth during a thrilling and varied performance.
“You are a genius, good sir!” an audience member at one of the Budapest performances proclaimed. “Tell us, how do you do it?”
The Great Buddini doffed his cap and let out an enormous belch.
“A magician never *burp* gives away his s-sec– *burp* — secrets,” he said. “Now if you’ll excuse me, we’ll have a brief intermission. Should be no longer than 10, maybe 15 minutes.”
The curtains drew tight and the pit orchestra began playing as members of the audience drifted over to the concession counter, but someone had forgotten to mute Buddini’s mic, and he could be heard muttering foul oaths, straining mightily and shoveling litter.
“I thought we’d resume with an examination of what is real and what is not,” The Great Buddini told the audience after they’d returned to their seats and the lights had dimmed once again. “Does the red dot exist, or is it merely an illusion?”
Buddini slapped a paw down onto the wooden stage floor, then drew astonished gasps as he held it up, with the elusive red dot pinned between two claws.
“They said it could not be done!” exclaimed a cat in the fifth row. “All hail The Great Buddini!’
“All hail The Great Buddini!” the audience repeated.
Buddini’s 2022 tour took him around the world before finally returning to his native New York, where audiences fainted with disbelief and a New York Times critic declared the magician was “an unrivaled master of sleight of paw.”
Despite near-universal acclaim, some took issue with The Great Buddini’s performances. A scathing review in the New York Post took aim at “imbeciles” who were “paying to watch a chubby cat pig out on snacks on a stage.”
The Great Buddini’s fans were unperturbed.
“Are they trying to say there’s no magic involved in Buddini making an entire bag of moist treats disappear into his mouth?” asked Otis, a 10-year-old orange tabby. “Because I assure you, it’s absolutely magical!”