Monday, March 13, 2006

A Tale of Three Shows

A Tale of Three Shows

Over the course of the past week or so I have been privileged enough to see three different types of magic shows.  I find it interesting to compare these shows and discover what the differences and similarities are, especially during the last show I will describe.

SHOW ONE:  The Amazing Kreskin.

I know some people who think about the Amazing Kreskin and laugh like he’s a pair of rugger pants.  Old, outdated and kinda geeky.  And yet he tours the world and is probably one of the most well known mentalists in the world.  I will admit there may be better mentalists, possibly Max Maven, but do you know who Max Maven is?  Do you know who Kreskin is?  See!  Kreskin is world famous, and there is a reason for that.
His show is professional, he is friendly and personable and what he does is out of this world.  He reads minds like he’s reading a newspaper, imparting information that it is impossible for him to know.
And did he entertain?  Pardon my use of a colorful 1920’s catch phrase, but AND HOW!  He held the audience in the palm of his hands from the moment he strode onto the stage.  If you want to see an example of a magical entertainer, then go see Kreskin.

SHOW TWO: David Copperfield.

Ah yes, the master of illusion.  The best-known magician in the world and owner of eleven world records.  And yet, I found the show lacking in illusions (Three by my count) and over flowing in comedy, and therein lies the problem.
While I enjoyed the show, I couldn’t help but wish he had a few more illusions and a few less “audience participation comedy” routines.
It’s a good thing when you can be self deprecating, and it’s a good thing when you can entertain with humor, but this show had far too much of both.  By the end I figured he was so rich because he stopped carrying around those illusions and bought a smaller van to carry around the ducks.
While I don’t want to give the impression that the show was bad, it wasn’t, but it wasn’t the type of David Copperfield show he became famous for.  I miss the illusions.

SHOW THREE: Friday Night Magic.

Every Friday at the Charlotte Room in downtown Toronto, a half a dozen magicians perform in a “club” setting.  No stage, no microphones just magicians and audience.  Normally I would enjoy such an intimate show, but the quality of Friday Night Magic, at least on this particular Friday, was shaky at best.
How can I describe it?  Well, the guy who MC’d refused to stand still and obviously never scripted a word.  There was a mentalist who started talking about “The four stages of mind reading” and then only mentioned what the third stage was.  There was a gollum of a magician who stole lines from Paul Daniels and screwed up his own trick and a second mentalist who, again, obviously never scripted and seemed to have no stage personality.
Of course, when the standards are low even those who are semi-good stand out.  Fortunately two magicians were more than semi-good, they were outstanding.
The first, a manipulator named Adolfo, was outstanding.  He made cards appear from, well, seemingly everywhere.  The only problem he seemed to have was timing the ending of his routine with the ending of the music, but that can be excused.
Then there is James Harrison.  He was professional, charming, and pulled off everything he tried.  The only problem he had was in projecting his voice, but he’s going to be working on it.  James finished his act with a demonstration of pickpocket magic, a type of magic that requires finesse and sensitivity, and he pulled it off perfectly.  He even stole my wife’s watch and she didn’t have a clue.  James was the highlight of an otherwise bland night of magic.

So there it is.  Three shows, three different points of view.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who the hell are you to comment on shows? You are just some lowly nobody who has nothing going for himself, a crappy magician that will never amount to anything but and internet junkie....

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who are you to be able to have the audacity to even try to critic Copperfields are pathetic.

9:08 AM  

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