A Palace show fit for Royalty.

Tom Burgoon A visit to the Magic Castle last week ended up with me seeing one of the best Palace shows that it has been my pleasure to witness. It was well planned and booked, and a delight to watch such skilled performers each making the room their own; let me give credit to them all.

The bill was emcee’d by funnyman Tom Burgoon, who started the show by borrowing a quarter. Doesn’t sound like much of a kick off to a show, does it? Well believe me, he got lots of laughs and warmed up the crowd instantly—he even set up a ‘call back’ for later in the show. He quickly broke the ice with the crowd and set the stage perfectly for the first performer—the real job of any MC.

As the first ‘real’ entertainer David Sandy performed a  smooth and polished act. He looks, and is, extremely skilled both in his magic and the relaxed manner in which he presents it. There was no hurry, no fuss—just smooth magic that won the audiences heart and mind. There was a also a little good-natured participation in the show from Burgoon, I always enjoy this kind of crossover reaction between performers—as did the Castle audience.

The centerpiece of Sandy’s show was the ‘Blaney Levitation,’ which most surely rate as one of the greatest illusions ever created. It is baffling and beautiful to watch headshot1and fools the eye and mind in an immaculate fashion. The manner in which David set his audience volunteer at ease was an object lesson on the topic for other performers. Given the shortness of the dress his volunteer was wearing—this could have been a problem!

Burgoon then reappeared to present his own act, which was original, fast paced and very well received. He is a genuinely funny performer, who has spent a great deal of time honing his material into a seamless attack on his audience’s funny bone. His facial expressions and constant laugh lines were enough to keep the audience laughing non-stop. His signature ‘Toilet Paper From Mouth’ (If you haven’t seen him—don’t even ask!) was a delightful surprise and it made me laugh a lot!

Closing the bill was the ‘Classic Contemporary’ manipulation act of Jason Andrews. Elegant and artistic, Andrews brings a youthful charm and sophistication to this style of magic that I haven’t seen since the early days of Lance Burton. The classic elements of a manipulative act are the framework for Jason’s tightly knit show, however it is his charm and sheer presence that seal the deal.

Jason AndrewsI have been following Andrews career for quite a few years now and the Castle audience just saw his eight-minute manipulative act. However, I have seen his full-fledged show that incorporates illusions, comedy and stage magic. Very few performers in their mid-twenties can carry off an entire two-hour theatre show the way Jason can.

Andrews just returned from an extensive tour of Turkey, which included a residency in the Trump Tower in Istanbul. He returned with a rush of confidence and experience that has enlivened his Castle show in no small way. The toughest test of a magician is often the way he handles his applause and the reaction to his feats of magic. The casual and knowingly underplayed manner in which Jason presented his tricks and accepted his applause resulted in standing ovations throughout his Castle engagement making.

I hope I have given you a taste of the great magic and comedy that was on display at the Castle last week, in nearly 40 years I don’t remember a bill that was better balanced and booked. After 45-minutes the audience left the room discussing in delighted voices what they had seen and isn’t that exactly what we want in our club.My only disappointment was missing out on a birthday drink with the inimitable Milt Larsen, who had turned 82 earlier in the week. Happy Birthday Milt—without you none of this would have been possible!

I just got a rave review for my ‘Cruise Magic 101 How to make a great living performing on cruise ships’ in The Linking Ring magazine. It is featured in my website.


~ by Nick Lewin on April 19, 2013.

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