Blaine overreaches in Europe ?

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CraigMitchell
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Blaine overreaches in Europe ?

Postby CraigMitchell » May 27th, 2019, 6:48 am

It seems Blaine’s promoters severely over estimated his commercial appeal in Europe ( or Ireland at least )

With 10 days to go - he has switched venues from the 10000 seat 3 Arena in Dublin to the 2000 seat Bord Gais Theatre.

“Technical issues” is the official reason - but with tickets still readily available in the even smaller theatre venue ... it’s clear the Irish aren’t much into Mr Blaine.

It’s a great pity as Blaine’s stage show is one of the most incredible live magic shows playing today.

It will be interesting to see how the rest of the UK tour fares and whether it’s simply a case of the promoters booking too large a venue.

His US tour purposely played smaller theatre venues to much acclaim.

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Re: Blaine overreaches in Europe ?

Postby AJM » May 27th, 2019, 10:30 am

Mrs AJM and I will be going to see DB in a week or so when his UK run kicks off in Edinburgh.

I had a look at the booking site at the weekend and see that there still appears to be a plentiful supply of good tickets available for the Edinburgh Playhouse show which has a capacity of 2800. The Eventim Apollo in London, which is bigger, appears to have limited availability.

I recall paying ‘top dollar’ for the tickets - they’ll probably be giving them away on the night.

I think the ‘smoke and mirrors’ ticket selling tactics of the promoters have tripped them up on this occasion.

I’m looking forward to the show...if it’s still on.

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Re: Blaine overreaches in Europe ?

Postby Tom Moore » May 27th, 2019, 11:58 am

Magic shows really don’t play in ireland (there’s probably half a dozen magicians working in the whole country) and culturally what little magic they do have is much more fun; “authentic” performance styles like Blaine are completely at odds with Irish sensibilities which counts against him even further.

The main tv network are currently going all out to try and launch an Irish magician with acts being pushed through the usual channels plus a new magician tv special being produced but everyone involved knows it’s a major uphill battle.
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Q. Kumber
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Re: Blaine overreaches in Europe ?

Postby Q. Kumber » May 27th, 2019, 2:29 pm

At the Manchester Apollo (where I've already booked seats) there are multiples available when I checked for either, 2,4, or 6 seats.

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Re: Blaine overreaches in Europe ?

Postby performer » June 1st, 2019, 11:04 am

Tom Moore wrote:Magic shows really don’t play in ireland (there’s probably half a dozen magicians working in the whole country) and culturally what little magic they do have is much more fun; “authentic” performance styles like Blaine are completely at odds with Irish sensibilities which counts against him even further.

.


That is a shrewd observation. I can see the Irish smirking a trifle at David Blaine. And probably more so at David Copperfield. There is something about the Irish character and tongue in cheek cynicism that would rebel at their styles. Interesting that you were astute enough to make that observation. On the other hand you have an Irish name so perhaps that has something to do with it.

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Re: Blaine overreaches in Europe ?

Postby Brad Jeffers » June 1st, 2019, 3:05 pm

I see you've been paroled Mark.
Good to have you back.

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AJM
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Re: Blaine overreaches in Europe ?

Postby AJM » June 6th, 2019, 10:18 am

David Blaine received a well deserved standing ovation from the Edinburgh crowd last night following the opening show of his 7 date UK tour.

I did have my doubts beforehand about Mr Blaine's ability to perform in a theatre setting however these were swiftly blown away as he came across as having a very relaxed and affable manner as well as a sharp sense of humour. He also interacted very well with the various folks who were invited to assist him onstage.

Despite earlier concerns about ticket sales The Edinburgh Playhouse did appear to have attracted a sizeable audience - the stalls appeared to be pretty much full although I was unable to see how things looked in the circle and balcony. However given the time it took us to exit the theatre at the end of the show I would suspect that it must have been a (near) sell out.

I won't provide any specific details of the show here however I'm sure anyone who has a ticket for a date on this tour won't be disappointed.

Cheers

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Re: Blaine overreaches in Europe ?

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 7th, 2019, 7:22 am

Andrew, your observations mirror my own. Before seeing the show for the first time, I could not imagine that it would work. After seeing the show, I was hugely impressed by what Blaine had achieved. He has a natural charisma on stage that was entirely unexpected.
I have found this to be the case with some great film actors. Performing on stage is an entirely different thing than performing in front of the camera. These actors, among them Richard Burton, George C. Scott, Henry Fonda, and others, all had a tremendous power on stage. A magnetic quality. Blaine shares this.
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Re: Blaine overreaches in Europe ?

Postby Barden » June 7th, 2019, 9:15 am

I will reinforce through repetition and completely agree with what Richard and Andrew have said about Blaine's ability to fill a large stage with his personality. Perhaps more importantly, my wife came away from the show really liking him.

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Re: Blaine overreaches in Europe ?

Postby Jeffrey Cowan » June 7th, 2019, 8:11 pm

David Blaine hit the ball out of the park and got a deserved standing ovation for his talk at the 2017 Genii Convention (which included two effects that are part of what I understand is his working repertoire). He has evolved and grown immensely from his first tv special and -- as Richard says -- came across wonderfully in person.
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Re: Blaine overreaches in Europe ?

Postby Q. Kumber » June 29th, 2019, 1:09 pm

David Blaine’s show in Manchester ranks with the very best magic shows I’ve seen. The first half was a lesson for all because everything was right, never mind that all the props used would fit in a suitcase.



When I say everything was right, I mean the lighting, the staging, but most importantly, Blaine himself.

This was 3,500 seat venue (and not a particularly pleasant one to deal with - but that’s another story) and the feeling was that we were guests in Blaine’s home. To achieve such level of intimacy in such a venue is remarkable.



He spoke well and clearly, no humming or hawing, and it certainly felt like he was just chatting casually to us. Stage clothes, casual clean and pressed, fingernails well manicured. You might be surprised about my mentioning pressed stage clothes, but far too many professional entertainers wear crumpled clothes on stage and it looks terrible.



Every performance piece was well staged, the effect perfectly clear and easy to follow, not a hint of confusion anywhere.

Blaine’s easy going style was well able to handle the odd interruption from the audience and it didn’t faze him in the least. Pretty much every routine involved different members of the audience and he remembered every name. His care and attention to everyone who came up on stage was a masterclass in spectator management .

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Re: Blaine overreaches in Europe ?

Postby Q. Kumber » June 30th, 2019, 5:22 am

Ian Keable has just posted his latest newsletter with his review of Blaine's show in London. Interestingly, in Manchester the jigsaw routine was in the first half. The only performance piece in the second half was the underwater routine. Then Blaine sat at the front of the stage chatting to the audience. Towards the end Blaine asked if there was a young magician who could come up and do a trick. A boy of about twelve who had been urging Blaine to drink as much water as possible (in the first half) came up. Blaine gave him a deck of cards, which he (Blaine) tore in half and had the boy (apparently) do a trick where a half card was selected from one half by an audience member, and the boy picked the corresponding half card from the other.

I've seen a version of that in one of the older books, where the method for finding the other half card was done with a second deal as the magician tosses (half) cards away under the spectator shouts "Stop," Though I can't recall which book :-)

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Re: Blaine overreaches in Europe ?

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 30th, 2019, 12:55 pm

The jigsaw puzzle routine was in the first half both times I saw the show (in St. Louis and in Washington DC).
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Re: Blaine overreaches in Europe ?

Postby AJM » June 30th, 2019, 5:04 pm

It was in the first half in Edinburgh.
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Brian Morton
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Re: Blaine overreaches in Europe ?

Postby Brian Morton » July 20th, 2019, 12:44 am

In 2002, I remember walking eastward along 42nd Street in New York and seeing a crowd of people on the corner across from the NY Public Library, and thinking, "Who would be stupid enough to toss the broads on this corner?" I got closer and realized it was David Blaine doing close-up card magic in front of the bus stop, for a woman in a mechanized wheelchair, and the crowd around her. I put on my best "just a guy at a bus stop" face and melded into the crowd until I was right behind the woman in the chair.

I watched for the better part of 20 minutes as Blaine did sets of jazz magic, all based on a stack, before I worked my way out of the crowd. I duly remember making a comment (for which I was scoffed at on this forum) regarding his card handling, saying something on the order of "Say what you will about his cultivation of messianic affectations, the man can actually do a pretty damned good stud double-lift." Which the author Glen David Gold read here on the GENII Forum, contacted me, and used in his New York Times magazine piece of May 19, 2002. (Which caught me a load of [censored] from magicians for using inside baseball terms out of context in the NY Times.) People then were still ridiculing Blaine for his '99 TV special when he had already long moved on.

I saw Blaine's live show near the start of the run in Worcester, MA; at the same show Richard saw at the MGM Casino National Harbor outside of DC; and the final stop of the tour in Blaine's hometown of Brooklyn NY. In Worcester, he featured Asi Wind mid-show, the other two he worked solo. All three times he was charming, low key, charismatic, and totally in control. It doesn't surprise me that he's won over the overseas audiences—his persona is so anti-bombast (the same way it was when he showed up on television after years of Gary Ouellet's glitzy Vegas magic specials) that he will surprise people with his down-to-earth realness.

I wouldn't be surprised if his tour gets far better plaudits at the end than it does at the beginning. But I don't feel ashamed in saying that I saw it coming all along.

brian 8-)


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