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Book Review: Bill Goldman’s Magic Bar and Grill

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Book Review: Bill Goldman’s Magic Bar and Grill

“Magic Bar and Grill" was Bill Goldman’s ten-issue newsletter that was published over a period of nine years. It was a creative and well received outlet for Goldman's ideas, presentations, methods, opinions and more. This book brings together all ten issues. While it’s somewhat quirky, there are some definite gems to be found within.

The book describes and explains some great tricks, and with many, offers fairly detailed presentations. There were lots of effects that stood out for me. In “Chameleon Bill,” Goldman presents his version of the bill change where a bill not only converts from a one-dollar to a $100 bill, it visually changes in phases with each fold, going from a one to a five to a ten, and so on.

Goldman’s “No-Tear Newspaper” is his variation on the popular “Anderson” tear. As the name implies, you don’t tear the paper and can reuse a single gimmicked newspaper for lots of shows. In addition, Goldman’s presentation offers lots of humorous possibilities.

What a Pill

In “The Big Pill,” you pull out a giant, three-inch pill from a medicine bottle (“Thank God it’s oral!”quips Goldman in the routine) and pretend to swallow it. I’ve seen Goldman perform this one and it’s a scream. “You Can See Forever” is a coin bending routine that cleverly combines mentalism with chart-topping songs from the 1970s.

Goldman presents lots of work with cards. The strong “Over Jog Control” offers a control that looks fairly natural and minimizes the use of a break. Goldman describes a good linking card effect. There are also several effects, such as “Rise of the Pyramid,” where Goldman uses rubberbands to reveal chosen cards in flashy ways.

Hammer Time

I like Jack Maxwell’s “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” that Goldman publishes. It’s a card transposition that involves the two red kings. There are also a couple of easy effects-one that is based on the old 21-card trick, which Goldman recalls using to fool a bunch of finger-flicking magicians.

I particularly like the way that Goldman creates miracles and magician foolers from the simplest concepts and some clever patter and preshow work. An excellent example of this is Goldman’s “Lemonade,” a combination card and mentalism effect that can be an absolute stunner.

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