The Nocturnal Trio – What Mystery Entertainment Can Be

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Postby Dustin Stinett » 02/21/02 03:19 AM

Imagine going out for an evening of magic, and on the same bill are the names Eugene Burger, Tina Lenert and Max Maven. Any one of those names alone is enough to ensure a fine evening's entertainment. This week, these three wonderful performers are appearing together in the Palace of Mystery at the Magic Castle.

Going in, one certainly would expect only the best – after all we are talking about three great acts. However, what is presented is a single, seamless piece of theater the likes of which I have never seen in my 21 years as a member of the Castle, or in 36 years of watching magic. Oh sure, I've been fortunate to see several great acts together on the same stage. I recall nearly a decade ago, Max Maven and Lance Burton graced the same stage at the Castle. And there have been other “great weeks” at the Castle as well, and not to mention a few incredible lineups at a few conventions over the years. But nothing the likes of this. Perhaps the last time three exceptionally talented individual performers worked together like this was in the days of Le Roy, Talma and Bosco.

“Together” is the key word. It is not a matter of one performing their act and then moving on to the next (which would have been terrific). No, this show is a true work of theater in one of its purest forms.

For those Castle members who have yet to see the show, do not fret. I will not be describing the show piece by piece. I will not ruin your surprise. To those who will not have the opportunity to see the show, you have my apologies. However, you must understand that even the most illustrative chronicle of what they performed cannot do the show justice. It's not about the “tricks,” it's about the theater. And that is what Mystery Entertainment can be.

Billing themselves as “The Nocturnal Trio,” these three performers accomplish that for which all great theatrical performers strive: taking their audience on a ride through a wide range of emotions. The show is mysterious, astonishing (yes, that's different from “mysterious”), funny, very smart, and yes, even a little sexy. There is even a “warm-fuzzy” moment at the end of the opening piece. The show features not only magic and mentalism, but also music from Tina Lenert and her harp. Somewhere Dai Vernon is smiling, for he always believed that music and magic could be blended together. (And not just as background music. Right again, Professor!)

In a perfect world, it would only be shows such as this that the general public would see and relate to magic and magicians. For the rest of this week, at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, California, a perfect world exists.

Thanks for your time,
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Postby Matthew Field » 02/21/02 07:57 AM

A fabulous report, Dustin, much appreciated by those of us 3,000 miles away from the beloved Castle.

Many thanks.

Matt Field
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Postby Guest » 02/21/02 11:18 AM

Sounds good, Dustin. Most memebers of this forum will probably NOT be seeing it. I'd really appreciate SOME kind of idea as to what they actually do. The others who don't want to ruin their surprise can simply not read it. What do you say?

Postby Dustin Stinett » 02/21/02 11:28 AM

How about next week, after they close?
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Postby Lisa Cousins » 02/21/02 12:03 PM

Thank you, Dustin, for this solid and heartening piece of magic news. The very idea of this Power Trio is electrifying to contemplate - it will be interesting to hear the actual details (next week). I admire Max for demonstrating that his motto, "Magic First," was no idle campaign blather. I'm burning for a new Golden Age that has nothing to do with litigation or scenes of torture in Times Square. How nice to know I'm not alone.

Keep it magic,

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Postby Guest » 02/21/02 01:34 PM

I saw the show last night and all I can say is WOW. It has stayed with me all last night and today as well. I had the smile of child on Christmas morning as I watched the trio of Tina, Eugene and Max take me on a ride of what magic should be. My only regret was that it ended. I got full value of my membership on this one performance alone.

I thank the Nocturnal Trio for giving me the great gift of entertainment last night.


Postby Dustin Stinett » 02/24/02 01:04 AM

It's come to my attention that the Nocturnal Trio will be performing at the SAM convention in New York this summer. In fairness to those folks that will be attending that event (and in fairness to the performers as well), I will not be expanding on my original review of this terrific show. Doing so would be equal to a book or film critic exposing the end of the story. I'm sorry, but I just can't do it.

Best regards,
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Postby Guest » 02/24/02 10:39 AM

Please Dustin could you say a little bit more?.I live in Ireland and I'm sure all three of them will never come here.
Just the sort of review I would Love to read in Genii.

Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/24/02 04:08 PM

The full Genii staff, including Racherbaumer and Swiss, will be attending the SAM convention--perhaps we can do an article about it at that time.
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Postby Gordon Bean » 02/25/02 03:25 PM

Let me add my voice to the chorus of praise and thanks for the just-concluded Nocturnal Trio's week in the Palace. The effects were original and effective, the by-play amusing without seeming forced, and the structure successful in making the performers seem like a cast rather than simply a relay team. Burger brought both laughs and hushed silence out of minimal props, Lenert debuted yet another classic-act-in-the-making, and Maven showed once again that honed stagecraft isn't limited to illusionists, or perfect technique to manipulators. And by making the clever decision to spend a good deal of time in the audience--not just soliciting volunteers, but also making introductions and transistions--Maven managed to include the audience themselves in the team dynamic. As a result, by show's end both performers and audience seemed to be levitating together.
Mediocrity is, by definition, easy to put on, and easy to digest, but a fresh approach like this is deceptively difficult. The Trio--particularly writer/director Maven--are to be commended for reminding us with their special show that the Magic Castle is a special place. I, for one, walked out remembering why I love magic, and why I love the Castle.
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Postby Guest » 02/25/02 10:53 PM

This show sounds better and better. I'd REALLY REALLY love to know at least the theme of the show and some of its touching moments. Anyone willing to share with those less fortunate?

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