REVIEW: Magic on Tap by Denis Behr and Vanishing Inc.
RATING: 10 OUT OF 10!
LINK TO REVIEW: http://straighttalkmagicreviews.com/magicontap/
This is one of the few products that I would score higher than a 10, if I could, but I can’t. I rate magic products on a scale of 1 through 10 so let it suffice to say that Magic on Tap by Denis Behr and Vanishing Inc. would get an 11 (or 12 or 15), if I could give it anything higher than a 10, but as I said, I just can’t. Or, to put it in terms of school grades, this project is a double A plus.
Starting from the moment you open this 4 DVD set, you can tell that this is the highest quality product. The 4 DVD’s come in a box that is similar to the EMC project boxes with a 4 DVD holder that folds like a book. The discs are attractive themselves with a close up shot of the line between the head of a beer and the beer itself. Why beer? More of that to come later.
The first disc is a wonderful performance in an 80 person theater. Behr is seated on stage behind a large table and there are several spectators sitting across from Behr at the table in addition to the 80 people in the theater in Munich. The performance is in English and has optional German subtitles. Behr performs 11 routines during the show (all but 2 are explained in the later discs) and he demonstrates his total fluency with a deck of cards from the get go. Behr does not have a big personality, but he fills the stage and captivates the entire audience with his likeable, conversational, direct approach. He creates moments of comedy that perfectly fit his well-honed performance. All his movements and sleights with the cards are natural and undetectable. His magic is pure amazing.
So, what is the beer reference all about? During the performance he asks for a beer and drinks it telling the audience that it helps him remember things – such as the order of an entire deck of cards. Later in the performance he is brought a typical Munich beer stein filled with beer which he then drinks in one swig. And, that, he explains, will really help him remember things.
Those of us that love card magic do not need to be convinced to watch other performers prestidigitate and in fact we seek it out. However, I think the general population can quickly lose interest in card magic if it is not done right. Certainly the general population will enjoy a card trick or two, but to entrance for more than a few tricks takes a great performance. Behr sets the bar for how to do card magic right and hold an audience’s attention – seemingly with natural ease.
Behr varied his performance with find-a-card routines, memorized deck routines, rubber band routines, an outstanding oil and water routine, an ACAAN routine and so much more. Behr makes each trick and every routine effortless and he can and will fool seasoned magicians. His sleights are incredible and invisible.
Behr has a way of making card tricks come to life. His performance of every trick is inspiring. Take for example “Herbert – The Trained Rubber Band”. With just a simple rubber band, he introduces the idea that Herbert is a magical assistant who can find a specified card and you actually believe it! And he does it too!
The second and third discs consist of Behr teaching 17 routines. Some of the routines are within the grasp of beginners and some are much more difficult. I would peg the difficulty level at solid intermediate to advanced. This means you need to be able to repeat perfect faro shuffles over and over and have mastery of a deck of cards. Now, just because the difficulty level varies and is mostly advanced and intermediate does not mean that beginners should shy away. In fact, beginners should buy this project because Behr demonstrates tricks that you will learn and he teaches how to justify everything you do in routines. There is never anything that Behr does that stands out as odd or questionable.
Behr is generous in his crediting of so many magicians and displays books and lecture notes of other card magicians that he has used in the development of his routines.
The fourth DVD consists of Behr performing some of the tricks from the theater show and some new tricks at a table in a beer hall with just the spectators that are seated at the table with him.
The ad copy for the DVD states “Denis Behr is a superb card magician--one of the world's finest by any measure. He exhibits extraordinary skill, creativity, and humor, packaged in a uniquely German character.” I wholeheartedly agree with this assessment.
I particularly liked his use of the Mnemonica stack in several tricks and in Alex Elmsley’s Arith-Mate-ic which is totally amazing. His Oil and Water routine also deserved special mention because it is so incredibly awesome and visually and fooling.
The video production quality is excellent. Everything about this project is excellent. Behr is a world-class performer and sleight of hand magician. He fooled me once, twice, three times and well, I just lost count at how much he fooled me. Like I said at the outset of this review, on a scale of 1 through 10 this project should get so much more. It is a bargain at $75, it is something that I will watch and re-watch and reference frequently. Magic on Tap is probably one of the best projects I have reviewed in a long time.