Tobini entertains at JMU celebrating his 40 years in magic

Eddie Tobey, “Tobini” staged his own magic anthology show at Anthony-Seegar Hall Auditorium on the campus of James Madison University on Sunday Afternoon December 4th. Assisting him was wife, Yvonne, and his sons as well as JMU friends.

The event was celebrating Eddie’s 40th year in magic. He is currently serving in his 3rd term as the president of Ring #320 of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Celebrating in the audience were about 75 friends and fans. Much of Eddie’s magic was classic mentalism with two stage illusions.

The show began with funny sayings being projected on a rear screen projector. As the music played, the heroic status of Eddie was emphasized. The sayings were similar to the current Chuck Norris attributes.  Eddie walked out dressed in full evening dress tails. He made a black cane appear instantly in his hands.

He immediately gave a large sealed box to an audience member to hold for the show.  He then asked three random questions for three audience members and had them give him their response. These were personal choice questions such as your favorite sports car and favorite pet. Those answers were recorded. He explained that later on he would connect the sealed box with the answers.

An easel was shown to contain 6 ESP symbols on paper. Matching symbols were also on the easel and it was turned around. The loose symbols were sealed in unmarked manila envelopes and mixed thoroughly.  When an audience member was asked to choose one envelope and open it up. Eddie then turned around the easel and it was a mark where he had predicted the choice.  He followed up with the classic “Key-Rect” effect. He borrowed a ring from a lady and locked it on a pad lock and mixed that only key that would open it with 7 others that would not open it. The keys were distributed to 8 people. Slowly he eliminated each person and for the last two he used the applause of the audience to make the decision.  That person’s key opened the lock!

A dollar bill was borrowed from an audience member. The serial number was recorded and it was played in a small envelope and given to an audience member to hold. It vanished from the envelope with a note left behind that said, “Tobini owes you One-Dollar!”  An apple, an orange and a lemon were then shown and an audience member was asked to select one. When it was opened, the bill was found inside.   

Next, an exciting dangerous stunt was attempted. Tobini showed four large Styrofoam cups. One was placed over a wooden disk with several sharp nails sticking up.  The idea was that an assistant would mix the cups around and Tobini would crash his hands down on the ones that did not have the spikes.  He was successful after several anxious events.

Eddie then presented one of two big stage illusions that he did.  He introduced an upright board with stars painted on it. There stars were cut out and a green handkerchief was threaded through one.  He talked about the Play-Do toys where you could shove the dough through a mold. He wondered what it would look like he went through the mold.   Holding up a wide cloth, he stood in back of the board. He raised it over his head and when he lowered it, he was on the front side with the green cloth in his mouth! This was an effective variation of the classic Andrew Maine creation.

A male volunteer was called up on stage and funnyman Mark Cline volunteered. He freely selected a card and Tobini attempted to transfer the name of the card to the audience. Mark was baffled as an audience member said that it was a red card. Then another said that it was a low card and finally another said that it was a four.  All the while the information was being projected in back of Mark on the screen. He was unaware until the end and enjoyed the joke on him.

Eddie then unscrewed a lit light bulb from a hanging lamp and attempted to use his mind to break it. He had a tarp on stage to catch the glass. After several attempts the glass remained intact. I am convinced that the ghost of Thomas Edison is unhappy with the upcoming 2012 conversion to different energy efficient bulbs and was working against the trick.

Finally capping the show was Yvonne. Eddie led her to believe that he was going to use her in a Levitation of a Woman. When she reclined on the table, his shadow could be seen in the rear screen and the music from “Psycho” played. He brought out a stock and Jig-Saw and with Yvonne wiggling he saws right through her but when the stock was removed, she was perfectly fine.

As a finale, the large sealed cardboard box which had been guarded by an audience member throughout the show was brought up on stage. It was opened and Eddie had a lot of fun with the bubble wrap.  Inside was a wooden chest which was opened and it contained a black envelope with a question mark on it. Inside the envelope was a matching paper to the paper used to record the earlier answers randomly given by the audience. All the answers matched!

The audience enjoyed the show and shared in singing “Happy Birthday” to Eddie’s adventure in 40 years of magic.  

Dennis Phillips





About blueridgemagiciansring320

Secretary of Ring 320 of the International Brotherhood of Magicians located in the Western Virginia.
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