Wednesday, April 18, 2007

IBM National Capital Ring 50’s Magi-Whirl 2007 is a GREAT Success!

To say, “Magi-Whirl 2007 was awesome” would be an understatement. Some say it was the best ever! The organizational skills of Mike Taggert, Bob Patterson, and Dwight Redman combined with IBM Ring 50 volunteers brought about the best one can hope for. The packed schedule included four lectures, two close-up performances, a dealer’s showcase, and a Gala evening magic show. The Gala show incorporated the best and most original top line performers. And if all that is not enough – there was plenty of time to socialize with friends, fellow magicians, and performers. Special guests including Al Cohen enjoyed good conversations with the organizers, many of the magic dealers, and performers that he has known.

Registration was accomplished in minutes without hassle or delay. Friday evening was a good time to socialize and watch the magic that takes place by individuals. Eric Henning on “Killing a Restaurant with Magic” gave the first lecture. Eric has performed his award-winning magic on three continents, from the streets of Paris to the Festivals of Avignon and Lausanne, from the tropical paradise of Barbados to events all over the Baltimore and Washington area. He has had the extraordinary privilege of performing at two Presidential Inaugural Candlelight Dinners, in 2001 & 2005. Magi-Whirl attendees went away with many great ideas and techniques on how to perform Restaurant magic.

This was followed by one of the best shows I have seen performed by the.
dealers The dealers were: Denny & Lee Magic Studio, DoveLite Magic, Fred’s Magic Books, Guaranteed Magic, Hughes Magic Inc, Magic by Michael Lair, Magic Goods, Silk King Studio, Sorcery with Class, Wayne’s Pre-owned Magic, and Wonder Imagery. Many new items were demonstrated and put all of us in a good mood for buying new magic tricks.

On Saturday the doors opened promptly at 9:00 AM and dealers began selling. The first lecture was by Michael Lair. Michael is a skilled lecturer and has lectured in every major city for the past several years. His lecture is full of variety with visual close-up magic using coins, cards, sponge balls, and animations of objects, to exciting stage magic using candles, fans, coils, swords, throw streamers, and Chinese fans. He had the attendees on the edge of their seats throughout his presentation.

Tim Sonefelt opened the afternoon session. Tim was named South Carolina Magician of the Year by his peers, the very first person to ever receive this honor! All the way from Anderson, SC, Tim has been professionally performing since 1988. His laid back style helps everyone to relax, ensuring they have a great time. When you combine a unique sense of humor with award winning magic, you have an unbeatable entertainment package. He combines music, magic, comedy, live animals, and audience participation. All that combined makes his lecture one of the best I've attended in a while.

The duo of Larsen Eisenberg and Scott Correll and close-up shows had something to please everyone. This was excellent close up magic! Larsen’s approach to magic is well oiled. He took us through some card feats that made my eyes go funny and my head spin. Sometimes you think to yourself “This is beyond me” and indeed it would be very difficult to replicate Larsen’s sleight of hand. Scott won the spectators over with some very strong and obviously well tested magical effects.

On Saturday before the evening dinner break we were treated to a Question and Answer period with Washington DC’s only Magi Shop owner, Barry Taylor. Barry’s Magic Shop is one of the largest magic emporiums in the Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. Barry delivered as only he can do, polished and professional with decades of magic performance. He started with his own performing background and went on to tell told us about his shows, TV appearances and forced relocation of his shop. Barry performs close-up and stage magic, having traveled across Europe and toured Japan four times. With his wife Susan, they performed in their own critically acclaimed "Psychic Ghost Theatre" production, which successfully entertained and mystified audiences for many years. There is so much to learn from this icon. What a treat this was.

At 6:30 PM before the evening Gala Show was to begin, walk around magic was provided by Ring 50’s Larry Lipman, Sam Brothers, Larson Eisenberg, Dwight Redman, Louis Hofheimer, Bert Udovin, and Matt Hiller. Everybody was seated at 7:30 PM. In a most professional manner, our emcee for the evening, Bob Carnathan, announced the opening act, The Magic of Michael Lair from Canton Ohio. Next was Bob Sanders, from Alabama with his charming Southern American cadence, he took us all into his light humorous type of magic using silks and doves with tremendous skill. Ruth Rice Crone from Silk King Studios assisted him. What a delight. Then came Tim Sonefelt with his non-stop visual gags and magic. The audience roared with laughter throughout his act, well done! IBM Ring 50’s own Dwight Redman, Washington DC’s Magician of the Year, winner of the Dan Lacey Trophy, presented magic that was entertaining and so slick the only way to describe Dwight’s act is “Pure Gold”. Closing the first half of the show was Michael Taggert by levitating himself above the stage. After an intermission Scott Correll from Pennsylvania entertained us with his comedy puppet and magic. Krendl & Company closed the Gala show with many large stage illusions. Paul, with the accom­paniment of his wife, Leslie, took full con­trol of the stage as they performed to put the audience in complete amazement. While Paul was performing, Leslie, a professional ballerina, would hand him his materi­als and dance around on stage. She participated in most of the tricks, which included getting cut in half and a Metamorphosis. Krendl and Company is currently the third largest magic group in Virginia.
~~ Bob Patterson

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