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Marco the Magi

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For the magician that who performed briefly as "Marco, the magician", see Edward J. Dooley (c.1853-1908)
Marco the Magi
BornCesareo Rafael Pelaez
October 16, 1932
Santa Clara, Cuba
DiedMarch 24, 2012 (age 79)
United States
Resting placeSt. Mary's Cemetery, Beverly, Massachusetts

Marco the Magi (b.1932-d.2012) was the character name of Cesareo Pelaez, the founder, producer, director, designer and choreographer of Le Grand David and his own Spectacular Magic Company in Beverly Mass.


Cesareo’s interest in magic began as a young boy in Cuba when his father would take him to see all the traveling magic shows. In his youth he witnessed the shows of Chang, Richiardi Sr. and Fu Manchu to name a few. He was also exposed to other shows and developed a fondness for all things theatrical.

Cesareo was a natural leader and in his teens gathered together his friends from the neighborhood and put together a miniature theatre group. They would build scenery, design costumes and put on shows. It was the precursor to what he would do years later in Beverly.

As Castro took over Cuba things in the country got bad and Cesareo chose to leave his beloved country. He eventually ended up in America and chose to pursue psychology as his profession. The famous psychologist Abraham Maslow became a close friend and mentor to Cesareo. Eventually, Peleaz became a Professor of Psychology at Salem State University.

While he studied and taught and worked, he was also planning another adventure in magic. He had gathered friends and former students together to form a unique theatrical troupe. Eventually they found a theatre in Beverly Mass that was for sale. The group pooled their money and purchased the theatre. They formed a company called White Horse Productions and after a massive clean up was soon on their way showing movies.

But unknown to the little town of Beverly, in the evenings and sometimes into the early hours of the morning, they were building, sewing, painting and creating a one of a kind theatrical magic show unlike anything seen in the U.S. since the 1940s. This would be an old style magic show based on pageantry, spectacle, wonder and most of all fun.

The show opened on the anniversary of FuManchu’s Birthday, February 20, 1977. Rather than call the show The Marco the Magi Show, it was actually given a much longer title. The full title of the production was "Marco The Magi presents Le Grand David and His Own Spectacular Magic Company".

In the 1980s the show gained much fame and notoriety. Articles appeared in newspapers and magazines all over the world about the show. Even TIME Magazine did an article on this unusual show.

Cesareo Pelaez was elected President of the Society of American Magicians in 1985 and served for one term. Over the years, Cesareo won just about every award one can think of in the magic world. The wall outside his office was covered with plaques and trophies given to him from magic organizations all over the world.

In the 1990s, Cesareo began to suffer from some health problems. He was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. On March 24, 2012 Pelaez passed away peacefully after a long battle with congestive heart failure.[1]. The show that he helped create and produce ended it’s consecutive run of 35 years of shows that Spring.

A biography of Cesareo Palaez was written by one of the cast members Avrom Surath in 2007, called WONDERFUL SURPISES. [2][3][4]


  2. Cover Genii 1981 May
  3. Interview Genii 1984 November
  4. Interview Genii 1985 June
  • Genii Vol. 44, No. 11, November 1980, LE GRAND DAVID SHOW — Follow-up to "How it came to be" by Bill & Irene Larsen, page 777
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 74, No. 2, February 1994, Our Cover - BRAVO, MAESTRO by Webster Bull, page 58
  • Genii Vol. 75, No. 6, June 2012, In Memoriam, Cesareo Pelaez 1932-2012, page 16
  • Carteles de Magia published 1994 by LeGrand David (self published by White Horse Productions)
  • Life With A Magic Company published 1995 by LeGrand David (self published by White Horse Productions)
  • Variedades published 1998 by LeGrand David (self published by White Horse Productions)
  • the-grave-of-cesareo-pelaez