Wes Iseli Magic Show
Reviewed by Dennis Phillips, Secretary, Ring #320 International Brotherhood of Magicians
William Monroe High School, Stanardsville, Virginia (Just north of Charlottesville)
February 8, 2013 7:00pm
Show length: 95 minutes with a 25 minute intermission.
This fundraising show was very well received by the audience and met all the expectations for fund-raising by the school.
Wes was back with a fresh edition of his illusion show for Ruckersville Elementary School. It was a fund-raiser for the school. The advance prices were $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children.
As you enter the auditorium, there is music playing. The auditorium was nearly full. Wes uses a pre-produced opening by a professional announcer and a musical fanfare with a tympani drum roll as his introduction His first three effects were a personal “in-one” warm-up sequence done on the apron with the curtains closed. He did Sponge Ball to Cube, a Dollar Bill Change and the Torn and Restored Laundry Ticket. His patter reflected how his life is magical.
He exited the stage and the curtains opened and lively music played. He opens with the Floating Box. As music plays, the box floats up, it twists sideways and rocks side by side in the air and finally floats down and Wes opens it and out comes Natalie. The audience welcomed her magical appearance with warm applause. Their stage activities show a playful relationship with each other. Wes and Natalie’s act is tailor-made for their typical audience. Their focus is on the audience and magic and nothing else gets in the way or slows down the pace.
From the opening Floating Box Illusion, Wes goes into a talking sequence where he produces a small rainbow colored streamer from his fist, puts it into a crystal silk cylinder and it becomes filled with eggs. He puts an egg into a small plaid bag and lights the inside of the bag on fire. The bag is pulled apart and the flames gone and in its place is a live dove. The dove is placed into a box and the box is taken apart and the dove is gone. It reappears inside a flaming dove pan.
Wes brings up a young girl volunteer from the audience and does several versions of the Cut and Restored Rope. Knots vanish and pop off and he then cuts the rope into three pieces and does Professor’s Nightmare. He gives her the three ropes as a souvenir.
Natalie makes her way to stage left and removes some cleaning supplies from a small box along with an impossibly long broom. Wes says that she needs to help him clean up a mess off stage.
Wes immediately goes into an “Impossible Prediction”. He has an audience member hold a manila envelope with a prediction. He tosses out 5 paper wads into the audience and brings up the five spectators who got the wads and has them sit in 5 numbered chairs. They are allowed to exchange the paper wads with each other and exchange seats several times. When the envelope is opened and handed to Natalie she, in turn, hands it to spectator who was the only spectator to have a paper was with an “X” on it. The spectator reads the note that says that the chair with her number will have the spectator who holds the paper wad with the “X”. The spectators are thanked and sent back to their seats with a big round of applause.
Another small girl is brought forward and asked to select a card from a deck and write her name on it. It is returned to the deck and vanishes. Wes asks all in the audience to look under their seats and in the back of the audience is found a large gold cardboard gift box sitting under a seat. It is brought forward to the stage and opened only to find another tight fitting colored cardboard box inside. It is opened and again and again a slightly smaller box is found inside as the stack of boxes gets taller. Finally, after a dozen boxes, a small 2 inch square box is found inside and when opened by the spectator a folded up card is found inside. It is dumped out and the spectator confirms that it is her signed card.
Wes then went into an extended sales pitch for items that he had for sale at his sales table. While the purpose of the pitch was to sell the items, he made it a part of the show by transforming the pitches into a cohesive routine.
He demonstrated the Coloring book and vanishing crayons and the color changing wand. He then brought up a spectator and did the Svengali Deck Pitch. He did Professors’ Nightmare and referred to doing it earlier in his show. He pitched a Fire Wallet to anyone over 18 years old and had some stories about scaring people with it. He ended with a Delight pitch and he and Natalie tossed the lights across stage.
He closed the first half of the show with a Substitution Trunk exchange accompanied by a music track. The curtains closed and the intermission began.
After intermission, the lights dimmed and the curtain opened and the sound track started and he did the Hindu Basket with Natalie.
He then invited a woman from the audience up to do “The Instant Magician”. Natalie was the hands who performed the effects to a music track.
Wes then supposedly began a card trick but had to get the deck from the dressing room. He left the stage and Natalie had her big chance to perform. She rolled out her table, affixed her sign with her name and did her routine which featured a Fountain of Silks ending with a Dove Production. When Wes returned he commented that he took a long time because someone had locked the door. Natalie winked at the audience while giving Wes an innocent look. This was representative of the playful competitiveness they used as a basis of the second half of the show.
Wes then brought up a mother and her son from the audience and he seated the mother in a chair on stage left and had her son stand on stage right. He went into a Three of Ten Cards Across routine. He counted out 10 cards to the woman and had her sit on them. He got lots of comedy by- play by using a “grabber stick” such as people use to get things off of a high shelf. He got down and looked under the chair and supposedly grabbed each card from under the woman on the chair with the stick and transferred them invisibly across stage. Her son was now holding 13 cards and she had seven. This is a good example of lots of fun entertainment with few props.
The next trick is an original signature piece of Wes’. Wes then invites a man on stage to help and borrows a dollar bill from him and has him sign it. The bill is placed in a white envelope. The envelope is sealed and Wes then used a pair of scissors and cut it into many tiny pieces. He said, “It only looks gone but I folded it up really small and hid it in the corner of the envelope. Wes then got down on his hands and knees and shuffled through the torn pieces on the floor. “Here it is! No maybe the other corner. No, I can’t find it!” He then apologized and tried to distract the fellow with a card trick.
Wes had him select a card and he said that he could send the thoughts to a member of the audience. Wes removed an egg beater from a manila envelope and had the spectator eventually hold it up to his forehead and turn the handle on the egg beater and send his card-thoughts to a woman standing in the audience. On the back of the manila envelope and unknown to the spectator was pasted a large card which was the card the man had selected. Wes held this card up intermittently, over the man’s head, so the woman could see it. He asked her for the color and she said “Red” and then the “Suite” and then the “Value”. The audience was in on the gag and the man was baffled.
Wes said that he would try to make good on the missing dollar bill and he had the man go over to the Superman lunch box hanging in full view on the side of the stage and open it and inside was a small box of sealed Fruit Loops. He had the man open the box and Wes took barbeque tongs and reached inside with them and came out with the signed dollar bill.
For his final illusion Wes did the Three Part Cube Zag. He announced that he was going to put Natalie in the box but she insisted that he demonstrate what she was supposed to do. Wes agreed for her to handcuff him and also put on a Siberian Chain Escape. After Wes was in the box, she locked him inside and thrust 3 tubes and 3 swords through the box. As two of the tubes emerged, each contained a set of handcuffs that Wes was wearing. The spectators could see through each of the tubes and Wes was gone. The tubes and swords were removed and Wes reappeared.
His final trick was to take the cage of doves and cover them with a square wooden tube and remove the empty tube and they had transformed into “Lucky” the rabbit.
The audience thoroughly enjoyed the show.
On the way to my car, I happened to be walking behind the gentleman who had transmitted his thoughts about his selected card to the woman in the audience. His young son, about 10 years old was walking beside him. The gentleman kept asking his son, “How did she know the card I picked?” His son kept giggling and saying, “Awe Dad it was REAL magic!”