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Creating Theatrical Magic Review

Official Review

December 7th, 2014 9:56am
Reviewed by Doc Johnson

This is one of those must have magic books. It is about the piece of magic that is most often missing from performers repertoire... the component of theater.

Part one of the book is a bit of an autobiography of Max Howard and Diane Bray. It gives the reader a good glimpse into one journey from childhood to masterful magic performer.

Part two is the complete script of the full performance. It has every word and detailed explanation of why everything is scripted as it is.

The beauty of this is seeing how Max and Diane have created what could be described as a magical play. It starts out with Max introducing a most amazing man from the past. As he is introducing him, he is putting on make-up and a false mustache. Then Max bids farewell and the Magician Gus from the 1800s takes over the show.

Part three is a description of the magic that is in the show. Most of the effects are commercially available. A few are original methods and the methods are described. Overall, this is more of a description of how Max incorporates these effects into his show.

Part four is a transcript of an interview between Lawrence Hass and Max and Diane.

The book comes with a DVD that includes the complete show, some alternate performances of the effects, and a description of two of the effects that are unique to Max


This is a book of the performance developed by Max and Diane. Therefore, many of the effects are effects created by others, and therefore the methods are not fully explained. However, they are explained enough for someone who purchases the effect to understand how Max incorporates it into his show.

The value in the book and the DVD is in seeing a masterful example of how to create an entertaining show for an audience.


If you are presenting magic tricks, you NEED this book. if your performances are not as entertaining to an audience as they might experience in watching a movie on the big screen, you may want to seek some inspiration between the covers of this book.

I believe this book is a must have for anyone serious about using magic to entertain people, whether you are a professional or a hobbyist.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Creating Theatrical Magic

Author: Howard, Max
Publisher: Larry Hass
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $49.99
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Manufacturer's Description:

Max Howard's Creating Theatrical Magic uncovers the fundamental elements of theater, stagecraft, and acting that transform common "tricks" into powerful, emotional experiences of magic.
It achieves this through a detailed study of The War Wizard-the highly acclaimed historical magic show that Max and Diane Bray have been performing for over 30 years.

This book-DVD package includes: video of the entire The War Wizard show, plus alternate videos of the magic performed in it (over 2.5 hours of video content). A script of the show with extensive annotations about its theatrical elements. Explanations of all the magic, including Max's masterpiece, "The Wand and Bottle." Running commentary throughout that illuminates the work and process of giving life to a theatrically powerful magic show.
256 page Hardcover with DVD Included

Max Howard is a true master of magical presentation.
Eugene Burger

Max Howard is more than a magician. He is an artist. The theatrical skills he brings to his magic make for a one-of-a-kind show experience.
Joshua Jay

Max Howard is my idol, and I want to know whatever he's willing to share!

Every time I hear Max Howard speak about the craft of acting with the art of magic I am inspired to get better. His passion for quality will help you to find the untapped potential in your work.
Giovanni Livera

Max Howard is a great teacher and he cares enough about the art of magic to share his wisdom with serious students. Don't miss [any] opportunity to study the theatrical arts with this master of the craft.
Jeff McBride

Few people in the world are so uniquely qualified to help magicians understand and apply the real secrets of performance as actor, magician, director, and playwright Max Howard. He will help you achieve a dramatic improvement in your magic, in every sense of the term.
Joe Turner

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