It is with great sadness that we received the news Monday, that Peter Reveen had passed away. We knew him well. He and his wife Coral came to my 40th birthday party in the early days of Perfect Magic. We first met him when he was performing in Quebec City. Fantasio and his his wife Monica were in Montreal for Magie Montréal and Reveen phoned from Quebec and asked him come to Quebec to see his show. We told Fantasio we would gladly drive him to Quebec, so we were invited to the show as well and also invited to a gala dinner given by Reveen at a wonderful old restaurant in Quebec City. There were about 14 to 18 people at that dinner and Reveen picked up the tab. He wouldn’t have it any other way.
From Quebec Peter came to Montreal to do the show. It happened to be my 40th birthday and I had a big party in our home and we invited Reveen and his family. One would think that a celebrity like Reveen, and he was big at the time, wouldn’t think that much of an ordinary party in a duplex on Kent, but he was excited as a kid. He said to me, “This is so fanastic. These are real people. I’ve never been to a party with real people. And he was gushing over, “I met an accountant, a salesman, a dentist, and so many other regular people. I’m used to stars who are so full of themselves.” This is so wonderful.
He happened to mention that his assistant hurt her eye and he tried to get an appointment with a doctor and they told him he would have to wait 6 months. Steve Fichman was at the party, an opthamologist, and Steve told him to send her to his office first thing Monday morning. Peter was impressed.
As a birthday gift, Peter gave me three of the long playing records he was selling at his shows. Study and Concentration, Relax and Gain Self Confidence, and Stop Smoking and Over Eating. These recordings are still available, In CD format now, not Vinyl, as well as other Reveen memorabilia. Click here for all the info.
Unfortunately his show did not do that well. He had a bad luck in Montreal as there was union strike at the time at the movie theatre next door and the picket line extended to the front entrance of the St. Denis Theatre, where he was performing. At one show we attended, one of the picketers threw a stink bomb into the theatre and the show had to be stopped and the audience cleared out. Another setback was the fact the the posters advertising the show had the wrong dates printed on them and it was too late to have them re-done. So after one thing and another, he closed the show. He asked us to keep his doves, which we did. That’s a whole story in itself but eventually we gave them to Parc Safari.
When I needed tickets for someone in Las Vegas for Lance Burton, I called Peter and told him I didn’t want free tickets but they were all sold out and my son’s friend was on his honeymoon and was so disappointed. He made sure there were two complementary tickets waiting for the couple and a fuss was made on stage over the fact that they were on their honeymoon.
One day about 8 years ago, maybe more, he told me he converted to Judaism. I couldn’t believe it. Why?, I asked. We were born into it and have to bear the slings and arrows…but you weren’t, so why would you put yourself through that?
His answer. Some people need religion. Some don’t. I do. All my life all I heard in church was fire and brimstone and felt no comfort in it. One day I went to synagogue with a Jewish friend of mine and I was at peace. I felt at home. I wanted to be a part of it. I told the rabbi. He invited me to a Friday night dinner at his home. It was wonderful.
Judaism does not seek out converts. Usually someone converts when they fall in love and want to marry a Jew. The Rabbi’s don’t make it easy for you. There are a lot of classes to attend and lots of things to do. Peter made sure to tell me he went the whole nine yards.
Peter was a force. He was a generous person with a quick wit. We knew he wasn’t well and was sorry to hear what he went through. We will miss him. We extend out deepest sympathy to his family.