Showing posts with label # review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label # review. Show all posts

09 October 2020

Carisa Hendrix in the Globe and Mail, 12th Night, and a Neil Gaiman shout out

From the October 6th article "How Canadian magic star Lucy Darling pivoted online – and found new fans (like Neil Gaiman)" by J. Kelly Nestruck in The Globe and Mail:

While Lucy Darling has a quick wit, her hands are even quicker: her legerdemain surprised and startled me time and time again. Table magic doesn’t have quite the same impact over livestream that it does in person (I kept wondering what was happening outside the visual frame), but a card trick she performed at the end wowed me and is still enjoyably tying my brain up in knots.

On the whole, An Exceptional Night In was one of the most polished and professional Zoom performances that I’ve tuned into to date – which is not a huge surprise, given that it is directed by Jim Millan, the former Crow’s Theatre artistic director who works with comedy and magic supergroups The Kids in the Hall and The Illusionists.

An Exceptional Night In is “at” The Citadel until October 17 – and information for all of Lucy Darling’s upcoming performances can be found on her website.

Read more.

[With thanks to Keith Tomasek for letting us know!]

From the October 5th article "An Exceptional Night In With Lucy Darling: get Zoomed on magic and mixology" by Liz Nicholls in 12th Night:

Henrix is also, incidentally, the Guinness record-holder for how long she can hold a lit torch in her mouth (witness the documentary Girl On Fire). Which would seem to have only a peripheral connection with her expertise in card tricks or cup-and-ball games. And none at all with Lucy’s uncanny ability, having asked an audience member for the name of their favourite book, to produce that very volume. Right then and there.

It’s a startling array of skills, to say the least, that Hendrix brings to the table (hers, as it happens in these COVIDian times). And one of them, you’ll discover, in a live Zoom “meeting” that brings 36 of us together, along with Lucy’s assistants, is an uncanny knack for making magic “real,” which is to say convincing, online.

Read more.

ICYMI, Neil Gaiman agrees:

16 December 2019

Steve Valentine in the MD Theatre Guide

A reminder that the "The Illusionists - Magic of the Holidays" plays at Meridian Hall from January 1 to January 5, 2020.  Get your tickets at through Tickemaster.

From the December 4th article "Theatre Review: ‘The Illusionists Magic of the Holidays’ at National Theater" by Michael Garvey in the MD Theatre Guide:
Steve stole the show and had a shining moment with his personal story of how he told and showed his daughter all about snow, as they were moving from California to Canada. He got a girl of 9 to join him on stage as he made it snow from his hands from water and literally nothing and then the snow engulfed the entire stage to create a shining, spectacular white Christmas illusion.  If you are in town, this show is a must, and well worth the price of admission.   The performances will leave you inspired and feeling all the magic of the holidays.

Read more.

14 November 2019

Seattle: "Bridging the Gap" with Billy Kidd

From Billy Kidd's Facebook post:
Hey all, I'm bringing the show I did in Pittsburgh " Bridging the Gap" to Seattle for limited run at Hales Ales Palladium Nov 8,9, 15, and 16th. Get your tickets ASAP if you want to hang out for a couple of hours:) Here is a review of the show from the summer

From the June 13th article "BWW Review: BILLY KIDD: BRIDGING THE GAP Fuses Magic, Comedy, Surrealism at Liberty Magic" by Greg Kerestan at Broadway World:
To avoid spoilers for the magic show, this review will be brief. Billy Kidd, the actor and magician, is almost certainly playing a character, the (fictionalized) magician Billy Kidd. "I have issues," she jokes at the beginning of the show, and the whole evening's loose plot revolves around this: our narrator has deep-seated, unresolved issues about growing up. A Peter Pan complex is not that unusual in a magician, but part of the charm of the Billy Kidd character is the way her neuroses not only fuel the banter and monologue sections, but at times begin to impact the tricks and stunts as well.

Read more.

13 July 2019

Review: Indulgence with Lucy Darling

From the July 2nd post "MMF 2019 Review: Indulgence with Lucy Darling" by  Tay Around Town:
We giggled and snorted with laughter, followed Lucy along in her games and marvelled at her wonderful magic. Each time I see Lucy Darling’s shows I become even more enchanted – as does her audience, I’m sure. She has a supreme stage presence and personality, which the audience just revel in. Despite a ‘larger than life’ personality, Lucy (Carisa) is careful to have this aspect not diminish the magic and storytelling. Everything in this show is within perfect harmony.

Read more.

26 April 2019

Toronto: Ariel Frailich book signing

From the Browser's Den newsletter:
SATURDAY, MAY 4 AT 2PM - ARIEL FRAILICH BOOK SIGNING: Ariel Frailich  has just released his newest book 'Sub Rosa'. It is hardcover and 170 pages. It covers a wide variety of magic & mentalism effects for stage & close-up based on an easy to master utility move. Mr. Frailich will be at Browser's Den from 2:00pm to 5:00pm to sign the book.

Please CLICK HERE for full details on the book.

PLUS...Mr. Frailich will be giving away a FREE prop with each book sale that has a use with an effect in his new book. ($45.00)

Read more.

A recent review gave Sub Rosa 5 stars!

From the I Saw That! Exclusive Magic Facebook page:

11 August 2018

Michael Close's "The Road to Riffsville"

Go to to purchase your copy of  "The Road to Riffsville."

From the Facebook page of Michael Close:
Steve Bedwell has this to say about The Road to Riffsville: "Can't put The Road to Riffsville down and focus on anything else. (Especially frustrating because I'm at MAGIC Live!) Fascinating analysis of some of the issues I've personally experienced with the estimation aspects of memdeck work, with robust solutions. An outstanding contribution!"

14 April 2018

Reviews: Luc Langevin's "Now tomorrow"

From the April 12th article "Luc Langevin still spectacular" by Sandra Godin in le Journal de Quebec, translated by Google:

Amazement and incomprehension: two feelings that will invade you constantly during this second show of Luc Langevin, who concocted us ten new spectacular illusions, between telepathy, teleportation and levitation.

The public remained speechless after the illusionist had teleported a spectator locked in a safe, at the end of the first media of Now tomorrow , which was held Thursday at Albert-Rousseau Hall. It was just before he levitated up the stage.

The master of illusion retains its title with numbers that combine mathematics, science, technology, projections and optical illusions, at the end as fascinating as each other.

Read moreRead original.

From the April 13th article "Luc Langevin: The magic of illusions" by Virginie Landry in Journal Metro, translated by Google:
"Everyone knows that magic does not exist." It is on this statement that Luc Langevin begins his new book, The science of illusion , in which he decrypts his art through scientific concepts. But we have a hard time believing that there is not an ounce of magic in what he does ...

"In my wildest dreams, I was hoping to go there, but I did not expect to get there in such a short time," says the magician, who is celebrating his 10-year career this year. In the last decade, Luc Langevin has animated As Magic , At the Limits of Illusion , Defying Magic , as well as several specials with local artists and documentaries. He also put on his first indoor show and released three board games. Phew. "When I look at all this, I think I was productive!" He laughs. (And he wants us to believe that there is no magic in there? Anyway ...)

In 2018, question of being as busy as in recent years, the magician launches a second show indoors, Now tomorrow , and a first book. The purpose of this book? "I wanted to lift the veil on some physical phenomena that I use. I found that these methods or phenomena were almost more interesting than the tricks I make with them. "In doing so, Luc Langevin wanted to give magic its nobility so that people understand that" it's not just clowning. to entertain children "is an art.

Read moreRead original.

From the April 13th article "Luc Langevin: believe in the impossible" by Sandra Godin in le Soleil, translated by Google:
In the Tomorrow Today program, Luc Langevin notes that his way of practicing his job as a "creator of illusions" has changed since his first show: "My scientific knowledge still inspires my illusions, but I learned that to reach the the brain of the public, sometimes you have to go through the heart. "

And that's exactly what he's doing with this new show: his numbers are still as surprising and spectacular as they are ... human and sincere, and tell a story. Including that of this extremely shy boy that was the little Luc Langevin, for whom magic was a lifesaver ...

And although the magical numbers of the illusionist are (of course) the nerve of the war of this evening staged by René-Richard Cyr, we must say that the success of the company is very much based on the likeable and endearing personality of Luc Langevin, and the constant dialogue he sets up with his audience.

Read moreRead original.

27 March 2018

Review of Michael Close's "The Paradigm Shift" Volumes One and Two

From the March 15th post "The Paradigm Shift Volumes One and Two" by Jamy Ian Swiss at Magicana:

Michael Close has in his lifetime in show business, worked extensively as both a professional magician and a professional musician (he plays piano). At one time a professional restaurant worker in his native Indiana, Michael was mentored by legendary sleight-of-hand maestro (and jazz radio program host) Harry Riser, whose own two closest mentors were no less than Charlie Miller and Dai Vernon. The late Mr. Riser has also long been named as mentor to Johnny Thompson; despite their closeness in age, it was Riser who helped guide Thompson toward the kind of magic that would eventually lead to his becoming the legendary master he is considered today.  In other words, Mr. Close is part of a lengthy and honored continuum of great magicians, a line he has done great justice to by continuing to contribute in creative and generous manner for future generations. He has not missed the true lessons of his mentors.

Read more.

From Michael Close's Facebook page:

08 March 2017

Michael Close reviews "The Aretalogy of Vanni Bossi"

From Michael Close:
As I left my forties behind and entered into late middle age, I became aware of a sad, odd occurrence. Some of my friends were turning into books. They had left flesh and blood, heart and bone behind, transforming into a form that allowed one-way (but sometimes surprisingly comforting) communication. I would regulary head to my library, not so much to seek information, but to visit again with Stewart James, Billy McComb, Howard Lyons, Arturo Ascanio, Barrie Richardson, T.A. Waters, Tommy Wonder, and Dai Vernon. And now, eight years after his death, another friend arrives from the printer in a beautiful and most fitting presentation.

The Aretalogy of Vanni Bossi features a portion of the creative output of a true polymath – a collector, historian, craftsman, performer, and creator. Concerning Vanni’s collection, Roberto Giobbi writes in the Foreword, “He possessed practically every important book of magic, from the beginning of printing to modern times, in many languages, but above all in Italian. He also knew what was in them, how to place their contents in the evolution of magical ideas, and who invented what. He was one of the most educated and well-informed people in magic that I’ve ever met.”
Read more.

17 December 2016

Reviews: "The Illusionists: Live from Broadway"

An article on Darcy Oake and links to three show promoting television appearances and appear at the bottom of this post.

A note that according to, holiday performances have been added:
Monday December 26. 7:30PM
Monday January 2, 1:30 & 7:30PM
Tuesday January 3, 1:30PM

Special Family Performances that play without an intermission and are slightly shorter to accommodate families with smaller children. This is reflected in the less expensive tickets available for these performances.
Wednesday December 28, 11AM; Thursday December 29, 11AM; Friday December 30, 11AM; Wednesday January 4, 11AM; Thursday January 5, 11AM; Friday January 6, 11AM

From the Toronto Star:
Starring Jeff Hobson, Dan Sperry, Darcy Oake. Runs until Jan. 7 at the Princess of Wales Theatre.

It’s a show that features seven ways of saying, “how did they do that?”

The Illusionists: Live from Broadway is a thrilling display of magic from a septet of seasoned professionals with different styles and disciplines who deliver two hours of pure enchantment.

They bill themselves as the “next generation” of magicians, but there’s plenty of traditional sleight-of-hand and illusion — from the guy sawed in half to a Houdini-inspired escape — to please all tastes.

From the moment all seven appear in a flash in a large enclosed glass box centre stage, you know you’re in capable hands.

Read more.

From the Toronto Sun:
Prepare to be astonished.

Seven of the world’s greatest sleight-of-hand practitioners have come from Broadway to Toronto to perform in The Illusionists, a magic show that includes Canada’s own Darcy Oake.

Oake, 29, first came to fame when he appeared on Britain’s Got Talent and America’s Got Talent — remember those crazy birds tricks? — and parlayed those performances into a big career.

It’s a career he’s been working on since childhood. Oakes grew up in Winnipeg and got hooked on magic by a fluke. His dad, sports broadcaster Scott Oake, showed a seven-year-old Darcy a card trick and that was it.

A star was born.

Read more.

A piece on Darcy Oake from the Toronto Star:
For Darcy Oake, magic was in the cards from a very young age.

The Winnipeg native is one of seven magicians performing in The Illusionists — Live from Broadway, which runs at the Princess of Wales Theatre from Tuesday to Jan. 7.

Oake, 29, said his love of the craft got started when he watched his father perform an “accidental” card trick at the age of 6 or 7.

After asking young Darcy to pick a card and return it to the deck, Oake’s father correctly selected the one Darcy had picked.

“I was absolutely flabbergasted and, for probably two or three weeks, I was like ‘Do it again, tell me how you did it.’ Eventually I got it out of him. He said, ‘Look, that was a one in 52 chance. That was a complete fluke,’” Oake recalled.

Read more.

From Clive Court's Facebook page:

From Darcy Oake's Facebook page:

Also from Darcy Oake's Facebook page:

08 December 2016

Review of "TP Prediction" in the December issue of Genii

From the Outerbridge Magic Facebook page:

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26 August 2016

[Guest post] "Unbelievable" Review

A reminder that the show runs at the PNE August 20 – September 5, 2016 (Closed Monday August 22 and 29).

The following is a guest post from an author who wishes to be known as The Magic Demon.


"Unbelievable: A magical experience"

A ninety minute large scale magical extravaganza, nightly at 7:30 pm, free with admission to the PNE, Vancouver.

In a word, "Wow".

This is big time illusion-based magic at its best.

Playing to capacity crowds, "Unbelievable" combines fast paced magic with modern rock concert visuals and music to create a memorable evening's entertainment well worth the cost of admission to the PNE.

I loved that they began with pre-show screenings of some of the greats from the past - Sorcar, Cardini, etc - all in glorious b&w - while the audience filed in.

How to review such an awesome celebration of magic and illusion? I can't. It was just too much to absorb. But here are a few thoughts I somehow managed to jot down:

  • American Matt Marcy's understated humour and impressive close up magic (seen on the big screen) should earn him an honorary Canadian citizenship.
  • Marty Putz - undoubtably the hardest working funny man in all of showbusiness. And the most beloved by children of all ages.
  • Juliana Chen's performance - sheer visual poetry. Beautiful, enchanting, mysterious. This is Art.
  • Scott Pepper - definitely the contemporary reincarnation of Houdini's daredevil anything-can-happen spirit.
  • Murray Hatfield and Teresa - the most accomplished, most polished, most energetic all around magical performers.

If you are anywhere near Vancouver this summer run (do not walk) to the PNE and catch "Unbelievable" before it disappears forever as the PNE ends for another summer.

The Magic Demon


Thank you The Magic Demon for guest posting at Canada's Magic!

20 August 2016

Review: Sheldon Casavant's "Ta Da!" in the Edmonton Journal

"Ta Da!" got a 5 / 5 rating!

From the Edmonton Journal:
Sometimes you come across a show so magical you have to drag the whole family to see it. This is just such a show. Pack up granny, round up the kids and run, don’t walk, to see Ta Da!

Morton loves magic. Morton the magician loves practising magic, and he loves performing magic. The young man practsces [sic] at home when he should be studying. He flings his wand around and tries out all of the staples of a beginner magician: card tricks, the broken rings and even the old ‘fire your talking stuffed rabbit across the room into a covered box.’

His mother reminds him again he should be studying, but Morton is a boy, and boys will be boys. It’s the big talent show at school that is occupying our hero’s thoughts, keeping him up at night when he should be sleeping. He is kept up by doubt and fear, emotions we can all relate to.

Read more.

14 August 2016

Review: Paul Romhany's "Dream Prediction Elite"

From Olympic Reviews:
It’s the usual confabulation performance of a dream - you first place an envelope down with a prediction clearly visible in the window section.  The participant selects a destination, an amount of money and a travelling companion.  You write these down in a notepad, which is shown around.  The selling point of this effect is that you open the envelope and the piece of paper seen through the window falls out on to your hand, and the participant opens it and reads it.  I’m really not sure why we don’t have more variations of performance in these, it always seems to be a dream, but this is a good one.

Oh, and you perform this entirely solo, and it’s instant reset.

More discussion below…

Read more.

26 July 2016

Review: Keith Brown's "Absolute Magic"

From the CBC:
Hotter than Potter!

That's how short, suited, 20-something magician Keith Brown bills himself. He even hawks buttons with that overconfident slogan. It definitely becomes him, though — this guy performs like a motivational speaker on Red Bull.

Read more.

19 February 2016

Dan McLean Jr. in "Guelph Today" and reviewed in "Jamsphere"

Dan McLean Jr. found his singing voice in a farmhouse near Putnam, ON., back when he was a teenager. 
Anyone within earshot at that time could feel Dan’s soul from bootstrap to cowlick. Audiences feel about the same now when the soul-pop singer/songwriter belts it out.
McLean Jr. arrived in Guelph from Toronto a couple of years ago. His father was ailing with Alzheimer’s disease, and his mother needed a hand. When his father passed away, 
Dan took it hard. Sadness over the loss gave way to depression. The only way out, he said in an interview, was to sing his way out. 
New songs have emerged, one of them, “I’ve Seen Love,” was recently released on about 30 music streaming and downloading services, and on YouTube. Others songs will follow. 
Read more.

From Jamsphere:
Fate would have it that Dan McLean Jr’s homepage somehow unfolded before my eyes prior to his Soundcloud stream opening. So I came, I saw…and then heard. So what happens when you see a slightly balding, greying and bearded middle-aged man, with a guitar and a microphone at hand? Well, you imagine the sound dummy! Is this a semi-retired rock hero, a lovesick country balladeer or a well-traveled, folk-styled troubadour?

Read more.

23 December 2015

More "Tricks" to be had

From Magicana:
We've been having a wonderful week full of magic with Tricks at Soulpepper in Toronto. In fact, Sunday's matinée is now sold out.

To accommodate the demand, we've added one more performance to the schedule on Saturday, January 2 at 8:00 PM. Tickets just went on sale, so there are some excellent seats still available so you can be right up close to the action. Don't forget, we have special discounted family packs for groups of four or more (with at least one child).

Read more.

Read this review from Toronto Stage:
As a youngster, I remember my father once cautioning me to watch out for people who ask you to share a secret, used car salesmen of any kind and smooth talkers who want to show you a good card trick.

Falling into the latter category, of course, is David Ben.

That’s because he’s the kind of guy who could make a lot of money hanging out at Union Station mingling with stop over travelers with a little extra time on their side. He may not have anything up his sleeve but he’s definitely got something, somewhere.

The return of Tricks, is anti-pomp and pageantry. The stripped down production relies on basic furnishings to accomplish what great all tricksters need to put on a smoking good show.

Read more.

08 December 2015

"The Trick with the Gun" on Superchannel

From the Times Colonist:
Chris Gudgeon doesn’t seem like a guy who’s into guns, and not just because he’s a peace-loving poet.

So why did he suddenly find himself at the North Saanich Rod and Gun Club to learn the finer points of marksmanship?

It was for the The Trick With the Gun, director Michael McNamara’s high-calibre documentary that the Victoria-based writer and producer wrote and appears in.

In the 90-minute film premièring tonight at 9 on Superchannel, Gudgeon agrees to pull the trigger for the Bullet Catch, a notoriously dangerous illusion.

Read more.

23 November 2015

Review: Glenn Ottaway benefit

From Fordham PR:
On stage, well-known comedians, magicians and even a pair of mentalists celebrated Glenn’s career and encouraged the audience to dig deep to help Glenn and his depleted bank account. Thanks to comedian/magician Matt Disero, who created the one-night only comedy concert, some of the country’s top headliners volunteered their time and talent, so here’s a brief pictorial account of The Rocky Horror: It’s a Wonderful Life Anyway show.

Read more.

09 November 2015

Reviews: "The Experts at the Card Table"

From Magicana:
The reviews are starting trickle in on our latest publication, The Experts at the Card Table
"This book is a pleasure to page through, and is an important and welcome addition to Erdnasiana." / John Lovick  
"David has made the once-daunting material more accessible than ever. For my first time, I read the text cover to cover, and it all made sense." / Steve Bryant  
"...if you have some card technique under your belt and if you’ve wanted to plunge into the Erdnase pond, this is a great way to experience the material…" / Michael Close
Read more.