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

This obituary is a part of a collection about people who have died within the coronavirus pandemic. Read about others right here.

David Maas, half of a husband-wife magic act that achieved YouTube stardom, carried out on a few of tv’s largest levels and saved 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 Entertainment.

In 1996 he and Dania Kaseeva married, and the couple first carried out their “Quick Change” routine that would stump audiences for many years. Garishly dressed from the outset, they might dance round, then cowl every other for mere seconds earlier than rising in new garb, the previous outfit nowhere to be discovered. The phantasm was carried out below the veil of a sheet, or perhaps a toss of confetti.

It would land the duo on packages like “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Ellen” and a slew of late-night reveals, and as visitors on “Big Brother.” They helped Katy Perry, the pop singer, carry out her personal fast costume modifications throughout live performance performances of the music “Hot N Cold.”

Former President George H.W. Bush requested their act 3 times at his house in Maine, in accordance with the couple’s website. They carried out at magic reveals and festivals worldwide. And they appeared on “America’s Got Talent,” the NBC selection present in which they made it to the semifinals in 2006. One of their performances on the present that yr turned the third-most-watched video on YouTube of the yr.

“Your act is one of a kind,” the actor David Hasselhoff, one of many celebrity judges, instructed them. “We’re still sitting here with our mouths open.”

The act was maybe most recognizable amongst basketball followers, who would contemplate halftime the flawed time to go to the concessions when “Quick Change” was on the court docket. They carried out at all 30 N.B.A. arenas, the All-Star Game and 15 W.N.B.A. arenas. At least 76 universities introduced them to campus for halftime performances, alongside with the Big Ten basketball tournaments and the N.C.A.A. Final Four.

They have been constantly 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 dying was introduced.

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

He met Ms. Kaseeva, who had lately come to the United States as a part of the Moscow State Circus, at a present in 1995 in which he was the ringmaster and he or she carried out a Hula-Hoop act. After they started relationship, 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 reveals, if not so elaborately.

“Our relationship couldn’t work if I was on the road 200 days a year,” Mr. Maas told ESPN in 2011. The community declared them “the most successful halftime act in sports.”

To put together, Mr. Maas misplaced weight and skilled in ballroom dancing, as Ms. Kaseeva and a Russian seamstress scoured by means of New York’s garment district to create their difficult 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 Got Talent,” they encountered one critic within the type of Piers Morgan, who thought of the act to be too one-note. The other two judges on this system disagreed, and Mr. Maas stood up to Mr. Morgan and forcefully defended the routine.

“You want to see an elephant or a snowmobile on the stage? Take a trip down to Las Vegas,” he stated to applause from the viewers. “We’re the only act of its kind. The concept has taken us all over the world.”


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