Showing posts with label Steve Cohen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Steve Cohen. Show all posts

21 June 2013

More Luminato 2013 reviews

From The Globe and Mail:
Monday evening: George Brown House, an Ontario heritage building situated just south of the University of Toronto, is named, of course, after the distinguished Father of Confederation and founder of The Globe, the newspaper that became the newspaper you are reading. Normally off-limits to the great unwashed, Brown’s stately home was the venue chosen by Luminato’s go-to magic man, David Ben, to showcase the extraordinary legerdemain of American magician Steve Cohen.

The setting proved an apt backdrop for Cohen’s act, which owes a considerable debt to Johann Hofzinser, the 19th-century Austrian known as the father of card magic. At New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Cohen’s unofficial home, he typically entertains audiences of no more than 50. For the Toronto cohort, only slightly larger, the diminutive Cohen – nattily attired in morning coat, waistcoat and striped trousers – deftly stick-handled his way through a series of jaw-dropping tricks, each seemingly more difficult than the last.

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From Mooney on Theatre:
I straightened my bowtie and tucked in my pocket square this evening to see Steve Cohen perform his show Chamber Magic at George Brown House for Luminato, where the dress code is as fancy as the attendees (let’s just say that for this evening anyhow, his sobriquet The Millionaires’ Magician was well deserved). The show, a classic parlour magic display designed for close audiences, sent me running home to the interwebs to try to figure out how some of his tricks had been performed. I’ll say only this: even online, magicians are pretty tight-lipped.

The pleasure of a magic show is in allowing yourself to be amazed – and it’s nice to be able to stay amazed. Cohen’s skills are really a pleasure to watch as he performs of variety of tricks that are indeed bewildering and delightful. You understand that, on some level, something must be happening somewhere you can’t see it, but that feels beside the point for a moment (except to the gentleman sitting a bit in front of me, who murmured his guesses to his companion frequently). When the card is turned or the glass fills with the correct colour of liquid, we in the audience both expect it and cannot fathom it.

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From Opus One Review:
We enjoyed being fooled. We pay good money to people who can trick us. We long for the impossible, and what Miguel Puga does is impossible, but there it is.

To help us catch him in his onstage trickery while we are seated in an auditorium, Sr. Puga shows some of his illusions live on a big screen, so we can scrutinize his hands. For openers,  he mixes a deck of cards, draws the Ace of Hearts out of the deck, mixes again and draws again, until he has ‘randomly’ drawn out all the hearts in sequence from deuce to King. While his assistant at the piano, Ms. Paz Sabater, plays Manuel de Fallas’ El Amor Brujo (Love, the Magician), Puga turns the cards face down and their backs spell out EL AMOR BRUJO. Impossible! How did he do it? I’ve no idea, but I want to see him do more ‘magic’. And he does.

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19 June 2013

[Guest post] Steve Cohen Performs at Luminato

The following is a guest post from Ian Crawford.


For years I have wondered what it would be like to attend one of Robert-Houdins' Soirée Fantastic.  Steve Cohen brought the essence of Robert-Houdin to life last night at his Luminato performance in historic George Brown House in Toronto.  First you must understand the setting.  George Brown House is a national historic site, the home of a father of confederation and founder of the Globe newspaper.  The Edwardian house has been perfectly restored to its former glory and is the ideal setting for a performance that celebrates parlour magic.  And Steve Cohen is one of the few magicians with the presence, experience and passion to bring the parlour magic experience to near perfection.

Steve performed a mix of classic magic and mentalism that honoured past masters while acknowledging a twenty first century sensibility.  A lifetime of study, 16 years of performances combined with an engaging intelligence and perfect diction makes Cohens' performances ideal for the Luminato audience.  He expected an intelligent audience, and the tickets even suggested that suitable dress was "cocktail attire".  In return Cohen performed 90 minutes of witty, engaging magic.  He was also suitably attired in a modern morning suit with yellow waistcoat and aqua tie.

Cohen's magic was direct, simple, elegant and completely fried many of the magicians and all of the rest of the audience of more than 60.  Beginning with a multiple card selection, he immediately engaged his audience.  He invited the back rows to stand and others to come and surround him while he performed some coin vanishes culminating in a solid, real brick appearing under his hat.  Appropriately, it was a reclaimed brick.  He performed a classic linking finger rings with style and grace and engaged the audience with some predictions about the inscriptions inside the rings.

One of Cohen's trademark tricks is based on Hoffman's Think a Drink.  While performed part way through the show, this could have easily been the closer.  Five different drinks were predicted, poured and enjoyed by audience members, the last being poured by a volunteer.  Cohen went out of his way to acknowledge and thank the volunteer for dressing appropriately, nice touch.  His message was clear that an evening out should be an experience for all, in keeping with the setting.

Cohen finished his set with a map prediction and then went into some mentalism using billets and an unusually large journal.  The mix of magic and mentalism was clearly a salute to Robert-Houdin, and Cohan engaged his audience constantly.

For his finalé, Cohen asked the audience to come closer and gather round to watch as he performed what I can only describe as a a two deck Triumph.

If you missed Cohen, you can always catch him in New York at the Waldorf Astoria in Chamber Magic.

Toronto is blessed to have a magic benefactor in the Slaight family who sponsored the evening.  And David Ben and Julie Eng of Magicana should be thanked for bringing some of the best magic to Luminato year after year.  Together they have elevated magic to a respectable place.  Robert-Houdin would have been proud.

Ian Crawford


Thank you Ian for guest posting at Canada's Magic!

07 June 2013

Toronto: Lunchtime Illumination - Steve Cohen

From Light News:
Prestidigitation on the plate
By Steve Cohen, The Millionaire's Magician

(Appearing at Luminato Festival on June 19, as part of the Lunchtime Illumination series)

Meals, like live performances, have a beginning, a middle, and an end. A well-trained wait staff can treat each diner's meal as a performance and aim for the idea of "no dead time" as the evening unfolds - each moment something interesting should be happening, without the wait staff appearing overbearing or intrusive.

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