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Midnight Show Dvd Review

Official Review

May 31st, 2004 6:38pm
Rating:
Reviewed by Brad Henderson
How's this to get your attention:

If the material on this tape had been released as a book, it would have been hailed as one of the best general books of performance material to hit the market in years.

The tricks are GREAT! The plots are good, and the methods are extremely deceptive. Water Monte will fool you. Shattered will fool you. Pretty much every trick has something that will raise an eyebrow. How often do you find a collection of stand-up stage material that is truly deceptive, plus a few close-up tricks that will play in a commercial setting?

While each trick has something worth mentioning, the work on Shattered is perhaps the stand out item. Though the basic idea was published recently, without permission, in another performer's manuscript, Scott tips the work on this effect that he has been developing for over 10 years. It is a shame that performers are forced to protect themselves in this manner, but I suppose the rest of us benefit from the creator's dilemma.

In the interest of being honest, I should point out two negatives which come in part from the DVD media itself. (Though, I hasten to add, the actual DVD production is stellar.)

The first negative, and this may be purely personal, is that Scott's style is not to my taste at all. It is too "Hi, I'm Mr. Happy Magic Guy" for my liking. It also has a very "generic" feel to it. His work is not clearly scripted ("Metrosexual," while a good concept, is a mess of words) and I don't sense any kind of power or direction in his performances. This may be a product of his youth. It also may be the product of someone whose strength is the creation of method and effect, and not that of presentation - or, perhaps more accurately, scripting. The good news, I think, is it will be easy for many magicians to see themselves in this character and make it simple for them to adopt the effects as is. (Take that how you will.)

While I think Scott's tricks would read GREAT in printed form, the video presentation exposes certain weaknesses in some of his presentational choices. For example, the bottle routine's premise is cluttered. "I have developed a 6th sense for danger..." but yet the spectator makes the decisions. Scott never re-clarifies that this change in perspective is meant to occur. Good scripting would have produced a more theatrically resonant effect. As it is, we have a kick butt trick; but it's not the pinnacle of perfection it could hope to be. If one had merely read the effect, method, and handling in a book, I think they would be more likely to "fill in the gaps" with different choices which could lead to stronger presentations and clearer results. Since the video medium encourages copying, I fear some of these "holes" are going to make it through to other's performances. (That being said, the fact that these tricks are still as strong as they are speaks to the potential in each one of them.)

This is a great DVD. If you do not walk away with one idea from this disk, then you must have watched it with both eyes closed. Scott is a a very clever young man and I can't wait to see his style grow into the material he has devised.

4 very strong stars.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Midnight Show Dvd

Author: Scott Alexander
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $34.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

Who the hell is Scott Alexander? Why haven’t I heard of him? The answer is simple…he’s been working. Scott has been a top pro for many years and one of the busiest professionals in the world. His credits include Denny & Lee, Malone’s Bar in Boca, cruise ships all over the world, Caesar Magical Empire, and now he’s starring in his own show at Fitzgerald’s in Las Vegas.

His style is simple…comedy that goes right to the center of the audience’s brain. His choice of material is always professional, practical and easy to perform. His methods are easy so that he can spend his energy on entertaining but the effects are all blockbusters. The included routines come right from his working repertoire. They are not pipe dreams. Real workers that are easy to do. Soon everyone will know the name Scott Alexander!

Effects Included:

Bullet Catch
This is a death defying, close-up version of the classic “Bullet Catch.” It’s an amazing demonstration that uses just a straw and its wrapper. Can be used either in walk-a-round or formal show situations. It’s foolproof and easy to do.

Shattered
Without a doubt this is the ultimate solution for the dangerous “Russian roulette” plot. Scott’s routine is more powerful than any other because the audience makes all of the decisions. His method is totally safe. Destined to become an instant classic.

Archery
Scott’s handling of the Benzais classic where the performer flicks a face up card into the deck. It lands directly on top of the selection. Scott has created a totally new method that cannot miss.

Dean’s Box Work
Dean Dill created one of the best small illusions a few years ago. Scott’s diabolical thinking created three new phases. All three kill but now you’ll have the shocking ending your routine has always needed.

Water Monte
Sure you can manipulate cards or the shells, but water? This routine for formal performance always has the audience several steps behind you.
It’s a showstopper that like all of Scott’s work is honed to perfection.

Coffee Break
This one will make your audiences feel like they’ve had way too much caffeine! It’s a very sneaky version of coins to glass that has a great “sell” and a final load direct from Starbuck’s. It’s diabolical and but easy to do.

Metrosexual
This is a really fun to perform routine for adults designed around one of the newest buzzwords “Metrosexual.” This is a very funny, cutting edge routine that will leave the informed howling with laughter.


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