The Utah Symphony provided some magic for its Family Series concertgoers Monday night. The symphony was the accompaniment, and the magic came courtesy of Landis & Company, a troupe of magicians from Philadelphia.

Conductor Robert Henderson was introduced by Alexi The Ukrainian Wonder, who persuaded the orchestra to begin with Bizet's "Les Toreadors" from Carmen. It quickly fell apart, and Alexi summoned up Henderson, who arrived from an opaque box, first his hand and baton in silhouette, then his arms and finally in person to complete the illusion.From there, the symphony ran through eight excerpts from various classical artists as the magicians took center stage.

Alexi (Landis Smith) used a large, empty butterfly net to capture two doves, which appeared to emerge from thin air. The doves were transferred to a clear box, which was covered with a cloth, then removed, revealing a large rabbit. The rabbit, in turn, was placed in a larger, solid box, along with a large carrot. Alexi and his assistant then pushed down the sides of the box until less than one-fourth of it was left. From that small part, they removed a tiny carrot and a much-reduced rabbit.

Another illusion featured a washtub into which a pitcher of water was poured, a covering placed over the tub, and two ducks emerged flapping their wings. They then were put into a solid box, covered, and as the magicians unfolded the box and the table below it, the ducks vanished.

Alexi then attempted to play a grand piano, from which he pulled, in succession, a cuckoo clock, a self-propelled model bus, the ducks (again) and finally one of his assistants.

The orchestra then played selections from Tchaikovsky's "Waltz" from Swan Lake, Beethoven's Pastorale from Symphony No. 6 and Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade. Those excerpts accompanied perhaps the best illusions of the night: sawing a woman in half and the floating lady. The first illusion employed a modern apparatus - a laser beam - to cut "Mrs. Frank-en-stein" in two parts. The latter involved putting a mop and push broom under the arms of Alexi's assistant and slowly raising her into a 90-degree angle to the mop. Another assistant passed the broom above and below the woman, who remained at right angles to the mop for half a minute. "How'd they do that one?" was all anyone could ask.

The Utah Symphony performed Prokofiev's "March" from Love of the Three Oranges in full and concluded with Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King" from Peer Gynt. The latter piece allowed the magicians a final illusion of the entire troupe emerging from a large box into several red cloths and coming out to oohs and aahs from the audience.

As promised, the program ran 1 hour and 15 minutes. As one youngster intoned as he left the hall, "I didn't get bored at the symphony this time." Now that's magic, indeed.