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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Scott's Thoughts - by Scott Wells » » Steve Cohen's Chamber Magic in Texas - A Review (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Scott Wells
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Houston, TX
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For a magical moment, time was rolled back, time stood still and time moved forward all in one evening and in the intimate drawing room setting in Houston’s posh Four Seasons Hotel. Thirty-four of us were held spellbound for an hour and 15 minutes as Steve Cohen, the Millionaires’ Magician, wove his magic spell without the use of a wand. Better still, he used his carefully scripted words and his polite manner to quickly capture the hearts and minds of the audience. Throughout the evening were frequently heard gasps of astonishment, ooh’s and ahh’s.

Upon entering the parlour (as the English spell it) we were greeted by a host who requested we silence our cell phones then welcomed to have a seat. Each seat had our evening’s program that was elegantly printed and gave tantalizing descriptions of the magic we would be seeing that evening. We were soothed by the relaxing classical music that helped transform the small room into an even more sophisticated and warm setting. A heavy chandelier overhead and a heavily draped back wall also added to the living room environs. A guest book was at the entrance where we were asked to sign just as if we were visiting someone’s parlour in a bygone era.

Promptly at the top of the hour the music stopped and all grew quiet as Steve Cohen walked out from behind a screen to welcome us as his guests. Dressed in morning attire replete with morning pants, vest and a cravat, his appearance gave a certain panache that added to the sophisticated ambiance of the evening. A splendid first impression.

Throughout the evening Steve entertained us without hilarity or deprecating jokes but rather with genteel humor befitting the evening and the audience. As David Devant would have said, it was all done with kindness. May I say here that Steve treated us more as guests rather than a faceless audience. We felt we got to know him in that short time and he got to know us as he moved effortlessly throughout our group yet maintaining the focus on the front of the room.

Steve opened with a sampling of his card skill coupled with mind reading as several selected cards were removed from a shuffled pack and he correctly told each person what card they had on their mind. Cards were shot out of the deck and caught back in the deck between two more selected cards.

We then rose from our seats to surround his table as he recreated a trick taught by his uncle when Steve was a younger lad. His illusive silver dollar under the old man’s hat was a lesson in misdirection and audience management as he completely fooled everyone in the room including those magicians amongst us. As we returned to our seats we handed in the pieces of paper upon which we had written the names of our favorite drinks. Five people selected slips of paper from the stack and read the inscriptions. As each was read, the appropriate drink was poured from the same tea kettle into a shot glass then verified by the guest that indeed it was the drink they named. The final drink listed was in a guest’s shirt pocket so he merely thought of the drink and poured it out himself only to taste that it too was the drink written on the piece of paper.

The next short piece of amazement was heart stopping…literally. Steve had a volunteer find his pulse and strike a wine glass in tempo with his heartbeat. Time stood still as we heard the pace slow then finally stop for several seconds before resuming to normal. In an interactive piece we next all rubbed our hands together then held them close together as we felt what seemed like static electricity between our palms. Continuing to use his “powers of persuasion,” we extended our fore-fingers and separated them but they kept trying to come back together.

A guest loaned Steve his watch and the time was noted as it was placed in the volunteer’s hand. The guest named the number 42 and after Steve rubbed his hands together and held them over the volunteer’s closed fist, the volunteer’s hand was opened and indeed time had moved forward exactly 42 minutes. Three finger rings were next borrowed then linked together and unlinked to a very interesting story involving Marco Polo and his discovery.

Two ladies were brought forward and asked to extend their bare arms then close their eyes. As Steve visibly touched one lady with a feather, the other felt each touch…almost psychokinetically. Five books were distributed throughout the audience as Steve read the thoughts of each word the people had taken from the books. Next a gentleman came to the front and asked to think of something he could draw. Steve handed the man a drawing tablet then stood back-to-back to the gentleman. They simultaneously drew an illustration that were displayed to the audience and shown to match. Steve then returned to the book tests as each revelation was increasingly interesting and “impossible” leading right up the last where the last three books were interrelated and ultimately led to the predicted word.

Steve closed with a few remarks of thanks and the request that everyone sign his guest book with any comments. He also asked that we tell our friends who travel to New York City to visit his show at the Waldorf Astoria. He also mentioned that his new book, “Win The Crowd” was available for sale at the rear of the room which he would be glad to personalize. Then as an encore we were asked one last time to close in around his table as two guests shuffled two decks of cards. The colors were separated yet after all the shuffling and separating, the cards matched one for one in a most enigmatic way.

As we left the parlour, Steve thanked us again as he prepared for his second and final show of the evening. I understand he had a crowd of over 40 for the 9:00 show who were also thoroughly entertained. We adjourned for dinner where we discussed the show and all things magic. For the record, the date was Friday August 5, 2005 and among the Houston magicians who came out that night included Richard Hatch, Bill Palmer, Chris Gillett, Frank Price, Vikki Skelton, Steve Burton, Steve Shain, Eric Frodesen, Shane Wilson, myself and Banachek.
"A magician who isn't working is only fooling himself." - Scott Wells, M.I.M.C. with Gold Star

The Magic Word podcast: http://themagicwordpodcast.com Listen to convention coverage, interviews with magicians, pictures, videos and more.

Magic Inspirations website for all things Banachek: www.magicinspirations.net
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