Steve Cohen in London

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Guest

Steve Cohen in London

Postby Guest » October 2nd, 2002, 11:31 am

Steve Cohen's Chamber Magic
Langham Hilton hotel, London, King's Room Theatre

Is this the perfect magic show? If "perfection' means to state a clear aim and then to fulfil that aim with unerring accuracy, then yes, quite possibly, it is. So let us first be clear what the show is all about. “Before the days of radio and television,” runs the official programme for the show, “wealthy patrons would regularly invite entertainers into their homes, to delight small gatherings of family and friends. In those sophisticated, friendly environs, the living room became the stage, and the audience looked gleefully on, mere inches from the show”. Steve Cohen, largely inspired by the "salon' magic of such heroes as Hofzinser and Houdin, aims to re-create this experience for today's audiences. Bullseye!

Trampling over just about every rule in the book, Steve offers an engaging mix of close-up card magic and hard-core "Supermind' mentalism. First he promises to deliver “Magic of the hands, magic of the heart and magic of the mind.” And then he delivers on his promise.

To relate specific details of the programme would be unhelpful, and spoil the surprises for those intending to get along to the Langham. The card work is certainly of high standard and good pedigree. Those watching with a strictly technical eye will see smooth, adept and experienced hands executing moderate-to-advanced sleights with practised ease, thereby accomplishing locations, revelations and transpositions in a suitably impressive fashion.

Those less pre-occupied with analytical dissection will see what the layman sees: "now way no how' magic performed with flair and neat flecks of New York wit. If Steve ever wished to display finger-flinging dexterity, he could probably hold his own. Instead, he chooses to entertain and intrigue people with impossible mysteries, keeping the technique as invisible as it should be.

What impressed me most of all was his incredible clarity of presentation. Every word clear as a bell, every gesture pertinent, every theme well explained and easily grasped.

Steve puts the cards away and proceeds to Part II of the show, a tour de force of contemporary mentalism. He reads minds. People read his mind. Metal bends, watches go haywire, and strange energy forces are manifested. This section includes a drawing duplication that is, without doubt, the ne plus ultra of drawing duplications. I don't know how he did it, and while I would probably kill to know how, my blissful ignorance allowed me to see it as it should be seen: a bona-fide miracle.

A list of effects is not a show, and Steve Cohen knows this better than anyone. His showmanship cannot be faulted. The pace is well-judged, and moves smoothly through different gears as appropriate. He can be funny if he wants to, on or off script. He shares much about his background, personal experiences and beliefs, and builds excellent rapport with his audience.

For the purposes of this write-up, I was careful to take along a Muggle and gain her view of the proceedings. In her view, all of the magic, every single last drop of it, was “phenomenal”. Her only criticism was that at times she felt Steve had been too slick, too much on "auto-pilot'. As she pointed out, it's hard to warm to a bullet-proof hero who never fails, and who has the air of one who knows he will never fail. For what it's worth, I think this particular opinion says more about my Muggle friend than it does about Steve, who I think judged the tone perfectly, and did engender plenty of warmth and audience rapport. Different eyes, different views.

King's Room, Langham Hilton hotel, Portland St, London. October 2nd to the 19th, Wednesday to Saturday nights inclusive, two shows per night: 8pm and 10pm. Tickets are 40 per head for muggles and 25 for magicians. Magicians are welcome, but try to bring muggles along with you. Seating is limited so reservations are essential: telephone 020 7636 1000 and ask for Chamber Magic. The official Chamber Magic website is www.customagic.com

Guest

Re: Steve Cohen in London

Postby Guest » October 2nd, 2002, 12:09 pm

Why does Steve Cohen and Mark Salem are doing
shows in London?
No mentalists over here?
(DB in Bristol and thats all)
What does the Muggle said about it?

Maxim

Brian Marks
Posts: 914
Joined: January 30th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Nyack, NY

Re: Steve Cohen in London

Postby Brian Marks » October 8th, 2002, 9:33 pm

Ive seen this show twice. Since delving into this art 5 years ago, I very seldomly get fooled. Steve has done it several times in each show.

Guest

Re: Steve Cohen in London

Postby Guest » October 17th, 2002, 11:54 pm

I am sorry
It was a very standart show,nothing new.
The second part was taken from a magic catalog.
I am sure if he was my friend I would say that it was a great show, but he is not my friend so I can tell the true.
He is better in marketing and he is very nice person.This are the 2 strong parts of the show.
The Muggle that I took with me because of Ian advice ,said the same thing.
(And she saw very little magic in her life).
She liked the cards part much better then the mentalisem part.
I am sorry Steve (If you read it)
Maxim

Brian Marks
Posts: 914
Joined: January 30th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Nyack, NY

Re: Steve Cohen in London

Postby Brian Marks » October 20th, 2002, 9:32 am

Originally posted by Hanan Maxim:
I am sorry
It was a very standart show,nothing new.
The second part was taken from a magic catalog.
I am sure if he was my friend I would say that it was a great show, but he is not my friend so I can tell the true.
He is better in marketing and he is very nice person.This are the 2 strong parts of the show.
The Muggle that I took with me because of Ian advice ,said the same thing.
(And she saw very little magic in her life).
She liked the cards part much better then the mentalisem part.
I am sorry Steve (If you read it)
Maxim
Its okay that you didn't like it. You don't have to apologize for not liking it. Its okay to have an opinion. But realize its your opinion and not truth.

I would also like to point out this show is not designed with magicians in mind. No "new" stuff will be picked up here. To magicians this is standard show and standard shows are boring. Effect is more important than method. It doesn't matter if you can buy some of the effects in a catalog. Sponge balls can be picked up in a catalog. What is important is impressing the true audience, laypeople. Ive seen Mr. Cohen this twice.

Guest

Re: Steve Cohen in London

Postby Guest » October 20th, 2002, 11:50 am

Thanks for your post, Ian. I really like the niche that Steve Cohen is carving out for himself. Its interesting that some people here still think its about the tricks. Its never the trick.

Guest

Re: Steve Cohen in London

Postby Guest » October 20th, 2002, 1:21 pm

With suitable pomp and circumstance befitting an occassion of such magnitude a friend and I descended upon the extravagances of the Langham Hilton with high expectations to bear witness to the legerdemain of the man they call Steve Cohen.

In such circumstances one feels the need for efficiency and so with a mere twenty minutes to spare we breathlessly took our seats. Suitably attired for the occassion (in jeans and a t-shirt) we posed a problem for the prestidigitator by placing our posteriors in a precariously prime position on the front row. Close up doesn't get much more.

Much to our dismay the show started three and a half minutes past the hour although Mr. Cohen did his best to keep us entertained while the groundlings filed in.

Beginning the show with a number of inimitable card tricks including a flawless execution of The Boomerang Card, the conjurer proceeded with such classics of magic as a Malini-style production of a brick from hat and of course the incomparable card in pickle.

The latter half of the evening was dedicated more to an examination of "magic of the heart and mind", as our host delightfully described it. I had clearly offended the conjuror at some point as he endeavoured to use my hand to explain to the assembled throng how to discover the pressure point located between the thumb and first finger. I vouched for it's presence with a particularly feminine squeal and vowed to have my revenge on the yankee b*****d - "world" series my ar$e.... Pardonnez moi. I digress.

Proceeding with classical mentalism effects from times past, we arrived with suitable aplomb at a most baffling mobile phone trick which thankfully appeared to cause the owner as much embarrassment as I had suffered just previous. My cheeks cooled. I adjusted my ice cushion.

We were understandably peeved to discover that the drawing duplication was not on last night's menu for our delectation but were treated to a beautiful presentation of Steven Shaw's PK Touches. I add as an afterthought that it was made more beautiful by two of the most delightful young ladies one could hope to meet. Nice legs too.

Our host came across as a most likeable little chap with a number of witty japes. He wasn't, I add with some glee (although my hand has since recovered), a particularly notable fellow yet nevertheless the magic was clearly enjoyed by all. Since this style of conjuring last graced our parlours, we've enjoyed the company of the wireless, marveled at the wonder of television and chucked the personal computer through the window. Most reassuring to think that magic can still draw a sizeable, sophisticated crowd and hold its own, in a ever changing world. Let's hope it's not another hundred years before chamber magic returns to our green and pleasant land.


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