David Maas, Half of ‘Fast Change’ Magic Act, Dies of Covid-19

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This obituary is a part of a collection about individuals who have died within the coronavirus pandemic. Examine others here.

David Maas, half of a husband-wife magic act that achieved YouTube stardom, carried out on a few of tv’s greatest phases and stored basketball followers nationwide nailed to their seats at halftime with their lightning-fast costume modifications, died on Sunday. He was 57.

The trigger was Covid-19, stated the couple’s company, Hoffman Leisure.

In 1996 he and Dania Kaseeva married, and the couple first carried out their “Fast Change” routine that may stump audiences for many years. Garishly dressed from the outset, they’d dance round, then cowl one another for mere seconds earlier than rising in new garb, the outdated outfit nowhere to be discovered. The phantasm was carried out beneath the veil of a sheet, or perhaps a toss of confetti.

It might land the duo on applications like “The Oprah Winfrey Present,” “Ellen” and a slew of late-night exhibits, and as visitors on “Massive Brother.” They helped Katy Perry, the pop singer, carry out her personal rapid costume changes throughout live performance performances of the music “Scorching N Chilly.”

Former President George H.W. Bush requested their act 3 times at his residence in Maine, in line with the couple’s website. They carried out at magic exhibits and festivals worldwide. They usually appeared on “America’s Received Expertise,” the NBC selection present through which they made it to the semifinals in 2006. Considered one of their performances on the present that 12 months grew to become the third-most-watched video on YouTube of the 12 months.

“Your act is one in every of a form,” the actor David Hasselhoff, one of many movie star judges, instructed them. “We’re nonetheless sitting right here with our mouths open.”

The act was maybe most recognizable amongst basketball followers, who would take into account halftime the incorrect time to go to the concessions when “Fast Change” was on the courtroom. They carried out in any respect 30 N.B.A. arenas, the All-Star Recreation and 15 W.N.B.A. arenas. Not less than 76 universities introduced them to campus for halftime performances, together with the Massive Ten basketball tournaments and the N.C.A.A. Last 4.

They have been persistently amongst the most requested halftime acts, and one of many highest rated amongst followers and journalists. The N.B.A.’s Oklahoma City Thunder and Xavier University athletics have been amongst these to pay tribute on Tuesday after his demise was introduced.

David Michael Maas was born in March 1963 to Jerry, a music director for the Circus Corridor of Fame in Sarasota, Fla., and Frances, a singer and dancer. As a baby he would sit ringside, and as a youngster he would start creating his personal illusions and performing as a ringmaster.

He met Ms. Kaseeva, who had just lately come to the US as a part of the Moscow State Circus, at a present in 1995 through which he was the ringmaster and she or he carried out a Hula-Hoop act. After they started courting, they determined to create a two-person present to maintain their romance alive, developing with their very own twists on the quick-change idea that had lengthy figured into magic exhibits, if not so elaborately.

“Our relationship couldn’t work if I used to be on the street 200 days a 12 months,” Mr. Maas told ESPN in 2011. The community declared them “probably the most profitable halftime act in sports activities.”

To arrange, Mr. Maas misplaced weight and skilled in ballroom dancing, as Ms. Kaseeva and a Russian seamstress scoured via New York’s garment district to create their sophisticated costumes. They started performing the act in 1996, and appeared on nationwide TV for the primary time in 2001 on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Ms. Kaseeva survives him.

On “America’s Received Expertise,” they encountered one critic within the type of Piers Morgan, who thought of the act to be too one-note. The opposite two judges on this system disagreed, and Mr. Maas stood up to Mr. Morgan and forcefully defended the routine.

“You wish to see an elephant or a snowmobile on the stage? Make a journey right down to Las Vegas,” he stated to applause from the viewers. “We’re the one act of its type. The idea has taken us all around the world.”