The Heck with Reviews....

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The Heck with Reviews....

Postby hugmagic » December 22nd, 2014, 10:55 pm

In three weeks of performances, "The Illusionists..Witness the Impossible" has recouped it's 1.75 million dollar investment for the Broadway run. Plans are already made for a return next year.
Last week, the gross was approximately 1,214,000 with 85% full houses.
This week will start four days with three shows a day. Can someone say welcome to vaudeville?
Here is the recent complete article.
http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/TH ... t-20141222
Still to come a 30 city tour with most of the cities being 5 or 6 day dates.
So who really cares how they were panned by the reviewers...the paying public loves it and that is what counts in the end.

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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby CraigMitchell » December 23rd, 2014, 6:47 am

That is fantastic news!

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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Brad Henderson » December 23rd, 2014, 12:16 pm

all hail Taco Bell, Kim Kardashian, and Fox News

It's dangerous to assume commercial success equates with quality - or that it establishes freedom from flaws. If you read the original review it is clear that the author liked many of the acts - which alone should be considered a win - but did not like the cheesy format and framework.

Kevin James's magic is strong enough to appeal in spite of being surrounded by hackneyed cheesy conceits.

perhaps instead of patting ourselves on our back we should take the opportunity to listen to someone who knows the world of theater and see if perhaps we can elevate some of our practifes to reflect modern tastes and sensibilities.

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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » December 23rd, 2014, 12:33 pm

LOOSE RAT-TA-TAT CHAT:

Perhaps we can add to Marshall McLuhan’s comment that “art is anything you can get away with” by saying that “art is anything the public willingly pays to see and enjoy?”

Critics of course life to refer to the “public” as the “vulgate crowd” or the “great, unwashed rabble.”

Highbrows sniff and rebuff.
Middlebrows shrug and ogle.
Lowbrows grab gusto and cheer.

Jeff Coons and Van Gogh both sell for big bucks.

In the commons, magicians (playing for pay) want to get booked and paid…more $$ rather than less.

The investors putting up money to finance “The Illusionists” are happy. The magicians in that show are getting paid.

Are there any losers here?

Who doesn't like their nachos cheesy?

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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Bill Mullins » December 23rd, 2014, 2:06 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:Kevin James's magic is strong enough to appeal in spite of being surrounded by hackneyed cheesy conceits.


Magic is strong enough to appeal in spite of being surrounded by hackneyed cheesy conceits.

That people (reviewers, ticket buyers, restaurant diners waiting for a meal, anyone) like a given performance of magic doesn't mean that the magic was done at high levels or is otherwise immune from criticism.

(And I like my nachos with jalapeno peppers)

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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 24th, 2014, 2:12 pm

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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby hugmagic » December 24th, 2014, 2:52 pm

I wonder of how many of the 68% got bad reviews also?

Good for them and good for Magic.

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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Brad Henderson » December 24th, 2014, 6:17 pm

whatever we do we must never change. We must never question it there is room for improvement. We must never look at that which we do through the eyes of someone who is an expert in the larger field in which we operate.

No

We know what's best.

which is why we are talking about the one show that has managed to break even

that's what I want for magic - that one show, every decade or so, that triumphantly 'breaks even'.

we are great

we are perfect.

Houdin revolutionized magic by making it relevant to modern audiences so we never have to do anything new. Just perform exactly as he did a century and a half ago, because we modernized - remember?

I like cheese on my nachos too. But I would like my magic to be more than snack food served as an afterthought to drunken people at ball games.

but hey - as long as it makes money!

TO THE LOWEST DENOMINATOR!!! AWAY!!!!!

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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby hugmagic » December 24th, 2014, 10:38 pm

Maybe because I am in a generous Christmas Spirit I not going to start flaming back on this last post. There is no point.
The fact is this show is a change in the way most magic shows have been formatted in last 20+ years. It is making money and exciting the lay public to magic.
I find it amazing that people that have never even seen this show are such experts on how it needs to be changed. This formula of show has worked all over the world to great reviews. Read the Genii article of last year by Luis De Matos.
It is getting people to go back into theaters again for a magic show. And paying top dollar for very good product.
Don't even begin to compare Houdini's efforts of 100 years ago to today's market. They are not even remotely the same. Could Houdini have made it big now, possibly. But most biographers will agree that he was a product of his times. Those times do not exist any longer. It ia a new world and it takes some pretty brave people to sink 1.75 millon dollars into a magic show...let alone make it work and be profitable.
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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Brad Henderson » December 25th, 2014, 11:08 am

houdin not houdini.

different people.

and I can't believe that magicians have their heads in the sand so deeply they are unwilling to acknowledge out dated flaws in our approach let alone take steps to consider improving them.

we should always strive to stay as out dated and irrelevant as possible and when we achieve any success we should use it validate all of our choices even when many of them are holding us back.

breaking even and appealing to the Kardashian crowd are hardly reasons to crow.

improvement can only come from turning weaknesses into strengths.

when we refuse to acknowledge weaknesses, we will never improve. The best we can hope for is to get lucky every decade or so

is that really what we want for magic?

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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby hugmagic » December 25th, 2014, 11:34 am

The same still holds true with Houdin. The times have changed. The drawing room conjurer's would do an effect and then retire to allow the audience to discuss how it might be done. Obviously, that is not workable today either.
Houdin did call magicians actors and a part of the theater. Theater has also evolved also in the age since Houdin. What is is being done now with the Illusionists is the current trend in theater and live shows whether we like it or not. It seems to me that these same critics panned "Cats" when it first came out. I think the paying public will decide far better than critics what is a success or not.
I find it so interesting that you are such an expert on a show that you have never even seen. I find no need to continue this conversation as you have firmly made up your mind that you know more than investors and the paying public.
Have a Merry Christmas and an enlightened New Year.
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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby mrgoat » December 26th, 2014, 7:49 am

McMagic ftw!!

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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Brad Henderson » December 26th, 2014, 12:17 pm

wrong.

you are apparently unable to read sarcasm.
you are now making the points the critic made - and I have made

theater HAS moved forward. Magic hasn't. The critics are not displeased with the quality of magic in tbe show but the 'cheese' which surrounds it.

Rather than take a position which acknowledges our deficits and then attempts to fix them, you have taken the position that because the show broke even it is perfect and magic has been vindicated.

nonsense.

The world has evolved but magicians are still telling the same jokes and presenting that which we do with the same tired frameworks. In this case,
according to the reviews, it is a reliance on now tired show conceits that while innovative a couple of decades ago are now passé.

why won't we/can't we acknowledge our failures as well as our successes?

why are we unwilling to accept that in the big world of entertainment magic fails to hit the mark on many counts (even when we have experts who know theater who can point out those misses) and are then surprised that more shows don't manage to 'break even.'?

I don't have to see the show to witness the blindness coming from the reaction to the criticism.

that to me is the issue

shows come and go.

our reaction to criticism holds us in place.

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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Banachek » December 26th, 2014, 3:11 pm

Congratulations to them... I know how much work goes into a production of this sort, those who have not been in a production of this sort have no idea how much blood, sweat and tears go into making a production like this a reality night after night.

This is good for magic.. good for us. Well done guys.

and Jim below, I too am from Texas
Last edited by Banachek on December 27th, 2014, 12:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Jim Riser » December 26th, 2014, 5:42 pm

There must be something in the water in Texas causing self appointed magic experts to "review" items never seen. A buffoon in Houston on the green cesspool "reviewed" an item of mine never having seen nor touched the item. He did not have a clue as to how the item had been made. Now we have another Texan giving bad "reviews" to a show never seen.

Well, I will certainly see this show if it comes to Tucson or is in Vegas on one of my visits. The fact that the paying public is supporting it is wonderful for the performers and for magic. It would be nice if the magic community would rally behind the show and performers in this production.

The green eyed monster certainly seems alive and well.

Banachek, apparently you are drinking bottled water ;-)
Last edited by Jim Riser on December 27th, 2014, 4:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 26th, 2014, 6:38 pm

You would think that because I'm so close to New York that they would comp me, but no such luck. But it's very good they're making money because that will incite other producers to mount magic shows on Broadway in the future. Hopefully at the right time of year.
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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Tim Ellis » December 26th, 2014, 7:10 pm

The drawing room conjurer's would do an effect and then retire to allow the audience to discuss how it might be done. Obviously, that is not workable today either.


It's ABSOLUTELY workable today. Korean magic superstar Eun-Gyeol Lee had a TV series called STORYTELLING MAGIC SHOW where magicians (including me) performed to an audience of celebrities. After every trick they would stop and discuss the act (in Korean): how amazing it was, did it go up his sleeve etc. They were saying what the audience at home was thinking and therefore breaking through the fourth wall of TV and connecting with the viewers at home. It was a brilliant show. I did an 80 minute guest spot on the show - here's a clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ov2lk_nfvkI

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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby hugmagic » December 26th, 2014, 9:13 pm

Very interesting concept Tim. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Jim Riser » December 26th, 2014, 9:17 pm

Tim;
Thank you for sharing the clip. That show is good on so many levels! Yep, the old format works fine. A number of friends are currently doing well with the old parlor format. Technology changes but the human remains the same. Nice! Your selection of material for the working conditions was perfect and the reactions outstanding. Working within an ancient format, you were able to entertain and mystify a non English speaking group. Congrats on a job very well done.
Jim

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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Brad Henderson » December 27th, 2014, 12:05 pm

Jim. at what point have i reviewed this show?

if I have 'reviewed' anything it's the magic communities reaction to informed theatrical criticism.

And Banachek - why should something difficult be free from criticism? you are playing the same tired card. If you and Hobson had your way the only people allowed to comment on any work is the person doing the work itself.

nonsense.

why are magicians so unwilling to consider the possibility that what we do could be improved upon?

I guess it's the thousands of televised magic shows and hundreds of live productions that are making billions of dollars and treated by intelligent people as being culturally relevant that makes us so secure in our practices.

(and yes, Richard h, that was again sarcasm).

There is no jealousy here. I'm happy these guys are working. What I feel is an emotion of another sort. And it has nothing to do with the show or the performers, but our collective unwillingness to consider weaknesses and improve upon them.

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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Banachek » December 27th, 2014, 3:40 pm

Wow Brad, you seen to have an agenda... read my post again, did not say you could not review (criticize) it, said nothing about what anyone else said, just gave my two cents like you and everyone else. Mine was positive so not sure what tired card I am playing? ANd since I have made only few comments on this forum compared to how many you have made in the negative not sure how my card can be "tired"

You said "
And Banachek - why should something difficult be free from criticism? you are playing the same tired card. If you and Hobson had your way the only people allowed to comment on any work is the person doing the work itself.


I said "
Congratulations to them... I know how much work goes into a production of this sort, those who have not been in a production of this sort have no idea how much blood, sweat and tears go into making a production like this a reality night after night.

This is good for magic.. good for us. Well done guys.

and Jim below, I too am from Texas


By the way, I do not disagree with this Brad
we should always strive to stay as out dated and irrelevant as possible and when we achieve any success we should use it validate all of our choices even when many of them are holding us back.


Funny thing is... Criss Angel did just this and still does and look at he flack he took and takes from the magic community.. yet he has validated himself with his success that he continues to have. I don't see you standing up for him.
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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Brad Henderson » December 27th, 2014, 4:29 pm

your post assumes that because someone is not involved in the production that they have no idea what goes into the production. A claim without merit. One CAN know what goes into a production without being part of it.

You seem to be using that as a rationalization that criticism is unfounded (alleging that the critic 'doesn't know') In the Hobson thread both you and he played the 'critics are not qualified to critique because they aren't the ones out there doing it' card. And that IS tired, and ridiculous.

As to Angel - Angel was an innovative and interesting illusionist who abandoned that in favor of apeing Blaine's approach and then gave up deciding to take others material and fabricate the illusion of presenting illusions.

And then there was Believe - which I saw - in a nearly empty theater when Criss was claiming the show was over sold. It was awful.

again, commercial success and quality are two different beasts.

no agenda. Just clarity.

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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Banachek » December 27th, 2014, 4:50 pm

Brad

WRONG on many different levels and narrow blinded on many levels.

I simply gave my opinion as I do again here
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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Brad Henderson » December 28th, 2014, 1:11 pm

shall we discuss it:

Angel was presenting his show in the basement of the the. wwf restaurant. He was given a TV show sponsored by them. Rather than present his interesting and original work he offered a rehash of Blaine complete with street magic, endurance stunt and the worst blindfold routine ever televised. I'm sure had you been working with him then you would have warned him not to follow the drum stick he tossed into the air with his eyes. Kind of tips the method.

After that we saw more Blaine style magic but with lovely tricks that included filming the audiences reaction to one illusion (such as a super x) and editing those into shots of an illusion which could not be be performed in the same context. Or how about the famous Luxor levitation which according to moehering was visible in method from the street below - yet somehow the support disappeared in post. Of course there was lifting both the sword escape from one performer (how did that turn out?) and we were all thrilled to see what was once a unique idea resurrected by Kevin James lifted as well.

And then there is believe. The nignt before I attended Criss was on Larry King claiming the show was sold to over capacity. I was there the very next night with 3 other magicians. We had the entire row to ourselves.

and yes, it WAS terrible. At one point criss called the audience a bunch of "Ef you cee Kay"-ers because we apparently were not applauding enough. He then commanded us to keep the applause going or he wouldn't perform his finale.

He did it anyway.

I have tried to avoid him since, but cannot get the hundreds of times at WMS when I was told about "all the untold charity work he does" out of my mind. Or Lance being forced to read a credit list which everyone knew was ridiculous.

look, I get it, Criss cares about Criss and will do anything to secure his own success. Clearly that includes doing whatever it took to get you back into the ranks after the horrible way which he treated you (and apparently everyone else he has worked with) a few years ago.

But criss's success is not magic's success.

I care about magic, not Criss Angel.

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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Banachek » December 28th, 2014, 5:12 pm

Well from my experience I once again see your statements as narrow blindness.

First you are living in the past with most of those statements and basing much of the opinion upon much hearsay. Second, my experience has shown me many sold out shows at Believe and I certainly have been to see the show many times. You may have hit a show that was slow show, I don't know, but he does do two shows a night. Also look at the size of his theater when you take into account sales. THere are times when ALL shows in Vegas do slow nights due to the nature of Vegas, season, holidays and so on.

The show that is pure Criss Angel now is a fantastic show and I am not seeing you refer to that at all.

MindFreak was definitely not a rehash of Blaine.. silly to even say that. Otherwise I do not understand how you can like BLaine and not Angel.. can't have it both ways.

Criss may secure his own success, that is business, but along the way he is helping many others in our business and how can the amount of people who have been brought to magic not be promoting magic? YOu are right about his charity work, he does a lot of it and prefers to be unsung.

YOu also talk about not performing magic in the same old boring way yet you want to put Criss down who has done everything to break out of those boundaries. I also see a trend to not only go after Criss but anyone who seems to be trying something different in magic my many in our craft. Good or bad I give people some kudos for trying new things.

I guess I just get tired of the negativity, surely there is something good that one can point out in these shows that many want to rip on, not everything can be negative. I don't understand why success is so disdained upon in our art. I am not just talking about Criss here, Henning got it back in the day, Copperfield did.. the things I heard magicians saying about Blaine, and now Criss. The superstars in our art seem to get torn down from within. I don't get it. This is not to say one can not criticize but I see a vehement agenda to do so in a mean spirited way, not a supportive way by many.

I love what we do and I want others to, talking it down constantly is not the way to promote goodwill outside our craft. Lets help each other move forward and onward. Not drag ourselves constantly to the past and dwell in the swamps of negativity. Want better magic, then do better magic, set an example yourself and don't worry about the other guy. That is what will improve our craft.
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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Brad Henderson » December 28th, 2014, 5:24 pm

Of course one can be in favor of Blaine and not Criss. They are two different people who have made different choices. And while I am critical of many things David has done, to suggest that Mindfreak did not become essentially a David Blaine rehash is to ignore that which Blaine brought to the table.

What hearsay do you speak of? You and I spoke directly about your dealings with Criss. Is that the hearsay you speak of? Do we not trust John Moehering's account of the levitation? did Criss not directly steal the dangling sword thing and mess it up?

And as to Believe - Criss lied. He made a claim which was untrue. Not true for my show. Not true for the show before my show. Not true, based on the people who worked there with whom I spoke, for any of the shows. He lied.

Now, I think it's great he does a lot of charity work. But if he didnt want people to know about it, he would have said something after the 18th or 19th time his "untold" work was "told."

Look, we get it. you are on payroll now. You have to praise him or there are consequences. But don't insult our intelligence here. you're too smart for that, and you know we are too.

But let's get to your larger point. There are plenty of people here pointing out the positives of these shows. That base is covered.

Now, tell me, what happens when the only thing you see is the positive and you refuse to acknowledge the negative?

Well, you get knowledgeable people like the theater critic panning your show for not fixing problems which much of the theatrical world has addressed.

Clearly we are not moving forward or else there wouldn't have been the initial reviews which instigated the very title of this thread.

Magic has enough fawning cheerleaders.

That's not my job.

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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Banachek » December 28th, 2014, 6:45 pm

Brad,

it is very insulting to say that just because I am on someone's payroll I have to agree with them or stick up for them on these silly forums. At the moment, I am on my own payroll. I have choices to make and I often (usually) have more than one option so I am not locked into having to agree with anyone or kiss anyone's ass. I don't, I speak my own mind, not someone elses, I speak my own opinion. Because it may or may not agree with yours does not mean I am blinded by who I CHOOSE to work for or not or based upon that person's opinion. I DON"T have to defend anyone, I choose to. I could just as simply ignore rather than interact.

My point is, those who point out the negative don't seem to hardly ever point out anything positive and it seems they are the ones who ALWAYS are pointing out the negative about the same people and the shows they are involved in and primarily the negative. I am not seeing them be more balanced. Could just be me, but I doubt it. There so often seems to an agenda and bias rather than base each critique upon its own merit. I felt that was proven by bringing Hobson's name into a discussion he was not part of.

Again, just my point of view, you are welcome to yours.
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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Brad Henderson » December 28th, 2014, 11:12 pm

I mentioned Hobson only to point out a standard fallacy that so many use in reaction to criticism. Hobson per se has nothing to do with this discussion except in reference to how magicians react to criticism.

perhaps you missed the first post of this thread which is the positive side of your argument. Balance is representing all sides. I see a different side and am offering it. That's balance.

And balance is good. So to suggest we should not offer differing opinions and only support people,
as you have suggested, is NOT balance. I might suggest that if you believed that which you claim we wouldn't be involved in this back and forth.

It seems as if you are suggesting that one must find good in the work of someone. You are welcome to that. I have watched Angel over the years enough to have considered on balance his actions and do not find him worthy of praise. I liked his older illusion work. there's that. When he stops being a tool and does sometbing worthy of praise I'll give it.

But I'm not holding my breath.

That's not a vendetta. That's not an agenda. It's just the cards as I see them.

isn't magic a better, more interesting place when many people see situations differently and express those opinions and back them up.

Seems a shame to condemn them from doing so.

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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Ted M » December 28th, 2014, 11:44 pm

The NY Times notes: "Only about 25 percent of shows on Broadway recoup and turn a profit each year."

As Richard pointed out, regardless of the artistic merits of this particular magic show, its financial success makes it more likely that other magic shows may also see funding in future, and that people may pay to go see them as well.

Look at the bigger picture, Brad.

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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Tom Moore » December 29th, 2014, 8:24 am

That a magic show has gone on Broadway, plenty of people are going to see it and everyone involved is getting paid / employed is a good thing - people being entertained and employed certainly isn't a bad thing. However....

It's been trotted out a few times that this show is innovative and different and exciting - it most definitely isn't. The MARKETING is (it's derivative maybe but it is novel & successful) but the show itself isn't - the show itself is EXACTLY like most of the touring illusion shows out on the road over the past 20 years and i can point you to TV specials from 20 years ago (which weren't cutting edge then!) that have the same flow, set, pacing and feel as this show. Again it's wonderful that magicians are high profile and employed and yes I wish I'd thought of this idea myself, etc but it's important to understand what is REALLY working here and what isn't; deluding ourselves as to what makes this show successful and then blindly copying these traits is a bad idea both for individual performers and the magic world as a whole. The reason this show is a success on Broadway at the moment is predominantly as a result of marketing and publicity rather than the content.

I'm confused by the assertion that the "success" of this show on Broadway will somehow open up the floodgates for other original magicians on Broadway and thus we should temper any critic or dissection of it. Copperfield had a much much bigger success on Broadway and that didn't open the doors to a flood of other Broadway magic shows. Joseph Gabriel had a successful run and that didn't open the door to a flood of other Broadway magic shows. Cris Angel had a successful run and that didn't open the door to a flood of other time-square goth magician shows. If there's one thing I think we can say has been safely and conclusively proven now it's that having a successful, original magic show on Broadway doesn't automatically produce more successful or novel magic shows on Broadway. What it does do though is produce an awful lot of clone magicians (and producers) who see that success, make the wrong assumptions about what made those shows successful and then blindly copy it themselves in the belief that it will somehow make them successful, rather than spending time finding their own voice, identity and path.
"Ingenious" - Ben Brantley: New York Times

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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 29th, 2014, 11:47 am

This show is different than the others you cite, Tom, because it's a variety show with multiple acts. That's something new for magic on Broadway. I'm also betting it was inexpensive and quick to mount compared to a musical (hence the rapidity with which it made a profit).
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Brad Henderson
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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Brad Henderson » December 29th, 2014, 8:58 pm

Tom Moore wrote:it's wonderful that magicians are high profile and employed and yes I wish I'd thought of this idea myself, etc but it's important to understand what is REALLY working here and what isn't; deluding ourselves as to what makes this show successful and then blindly copying these traits is a bad idea both for individual performers and the magic world as a whole.


I could not, and clearly did not, say it better myself.

Aaron Sterling
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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Aaron Sterling » December 29th, 2014, 9:42 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:This show is different than the others you cite, Tom, because it's a variety show with multiple acts. That's something new for magic on Broadway.

This is the key point, from my perspective. It demonstrates that there's a market for a Ten in One type magic show both in a major population center and on tour. A friend of mine is currently building illusions for a new show, and you better believe the financial success of The Illusionists is a talking point with TV production companies and potential investors, even though there are no plans to go to Broadway.

I don't see any way this hurts magic. Let's say the show royally sucks. I haven't seen it myself, so maybe it's true. Then the pitch is, "They turned a profit, and look at my show, it's way better!"

Tom Moore
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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Tom Moore » December 30th, 2014, 4:51 am

:roll:
"Ingenious" - Ben Brantley: New York Times

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Aaron Sterling
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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Aaron Sterling » December 30th, 2014, 8:02 am

Tom Moore wrote::roll:

In case that was directed at me: do you know *any* booking agent, of any venue, who would be more likely to sign a contract with a magic act if Witness the Impossible had gone bankrupt?

Let's say Witness the Impossible is the worst magic show in the history of the world. Profoundly, embarrassingly bad. Let's say that genius marketing is the only thing that made it not close on opening day. Granting all of that, how would the market for magic performance improve if Witness the Impossible tanked?

I don't know whether Witness's success will make success more likely elsewhere, but I'm pretty confident that its failure would have made it harder to mount new acts in other places. Then you'd have to overcome an obvious reason to say no: "What happened to Criss Angel won't happen to me because of blah blah blah." More comfortable to not be in that position.

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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Tom Moore » December 30th, 2014, 10:00 am

The eye-roll was because of your opening statement that
"It demonstrates that there's a market for a Ten in One type magic show both in a major population center and on tour."

As it only demonstrates that there is currently a market for THIS show with these performers - it's worth pointing out that actually in a lot of situations "The Illusionists" hasn't been rebooked year on year (the number of locations the tour of 2.0 has played is very different to the locations 1.0 played) which suggests that there really isn't the market you're assuming there is.

The eye roll was also directed at the second part of the comment - namely that people are already rushing to copy/ride the coat tails of this production and in doing so completely misunderstanding what makes this production unique and marketable. Aside from the cris angel clone of the show i've seen at least 3 other shows blindly copying what they /think/ is the magic ingredient of "The Illusionists" and rushing productions out which actually completely miss the point. If you know anything of my work, style and writings it's that i loath people blindly copying things and not understanding the real why's and wherefores behind the original choice.

I'm essentially a grumpy person :-p
"Ingenious" - Ben Brantley: New York Times

thomasmoorecreative

Aaron Sterling
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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Aaron Sterling » December 30th, 2014, 10:20 am

Tom Moore wrote:The eye roll was also directed at the second part of the comment - namely that people are already rushing to copy/ride the coat tails of this production and in doing so completely misunderstanding what makes this production unique and marketable.

Other people may well be doing that, I don't know. In the situation I was referring to, the first contract with an engineer to design the first original illusion was signed about a year ago. So I think your slogan "don't be a clone" is being obeyed in the case I had in mind. Perhaps I should have emphasized "talking point": I don't see how it can hurt any pitch to say, "And, also, Witness the Impossible worked on Broadway in three weeks."

I don't know anything about the rebooking stats, so I can't comment on your first point.

Tom Moore
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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Tom Moore » December 30th, 2014, 10:39 am

In the situation I was referring to, the first contract with an engineer to design the first original illusion was signed about a year ago. So I think your slogan "don't be a clone" is being obeyed in the case I had in mind.


The Illusionists started in January 2012 and has toured (and played the regional equivalents of Broadway) in it's various incarnations ever since so just because another show was mooted before the Broadway leg of The Illusionists doesn't mean it's not riding off the back of that brand - it doesn't mean it is but it doesn't mean it isn't.
"Ingenious" - Ben Brantley: New York Times

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Brad Henderson
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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Brad Henderson » December 30th, 2014, 2:00 pm

these comments suggest two sad things to me:

1) we will never convince the paying audience to stop thinking of magicians as interchangeable commodities because we think of ourselves as interchangeable commodities.

2) criticism of any show will likely be taken personally because so many magicians imagine themselves as that interchangeable commodity and many are working hard to be that interchangeable commodity (without any understanding of the actual market).

Brad Henderson
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Re: The Heck with Reviews....

Postby Brad Henderson » December 30th, 2014, 3:58 pm

an interesting article that comments albeit briefly on the role of the critic and what one looses in the democritization of taste.

http://m.theatlantic.com/magazine/archi ... ur/383497/


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