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DVD Review: Mamma Mia Magic - Aldo Colombini

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DVD Review: Mamma Mia Magic - Aldo Colombini
An earlier instructional VHS video by Aldo Colombini that’s now been re-released on DVD, “Mamma Mia Magic” presents Columbini’s flashy cups & balls routine and various close-up card and coin effects.

For intermediate to advanced magicians, this DVD presents Columbini’s take on several classics that include card and coin transpositions, card matrix, oil & water and spelling to a card.

Cups & Balls

Columbini’s cups & calls routine is the highlight of this DVD. His version is particularly flashy and he offers an astounding technique that allows you to apparently display an empty cup when it’s not and make it look as if a ball has left from under a cup when it hasn’t.

He also adds lots of flair to the routine by flipping cups around in a flamboyant manner that covers some of the workings behind the magic (his “can can” move). There’s also some through- the-table-work that Columbini, well, brings to the table.

Overall, I think that Columbini’s cups & balls routine appeals more to magicians than laymen. There’s no patter and the action occurs quickly. And I have a feeling that laymen who aren’t concentrating could easily lose track of where the balls are supposed to be. From a commercial standpoint, Columbini’s routine lacks large loads at the end.

Overall, however, I was impressed with Columbini’s technique-moves that I hadn’t seen before, which could be incorporated into your own routines.

Coins and Matrix

The Mamma-Mia Coin Routine is a clean, multi-phase routine that is easy to do and involves two cards and two coins: a Chinese coin with a hole and a half-dollar that change places two times. At the end, the Chinese coin vanishes and appears on a rope between two knots. I particularly liked the ending with the rope, which I wasn’t expecting and that fried me.

In ACE-MBLY, Columbini offers an exceptionally-clean cards and coins matrix effect. At the end, Columbini makes the suits from the cards come together. The matrix routine is fairly conventional. It’s the ending that offers a new take on an often-performed close-up routine.

Oil & Water Mix

With “Aldo's Oil & Water” and “Italian Salad,” Columbini offers not one, but two “oil & water” effects where red and black cards that are mixed somehow un-mix themselves. Columbini presents the two routines in a single set.

The first part is classic oil & water and in the second effect, “Italian Salad,” the red cards and the black cards are alternated and then placed into a card box. With a flick of the wrist, the red cards separate and exit the box. Good material here, but it takes someone with the charisma and wit of Columbini to present an entertaining “oil & water.”

As the name implies, in “SPELL-O-ROMA,” a selected card is lost in the deck. To find the card a spectator calls out any person's name, which is spelled with the cards-one card dealt for each letter. No surprise here, the selection is found at the last letter.

I’m not a big fan of tedious spelling tricks where a magician spells out a card’s name and locates a spectator’s card. However, Columbini’s routine, which allows him to “spell” using a name that a spectator provides, is a nice twist.

Band on the Run

In Band-o-Roma, a selected card is lost in the deck. A rubber band is wrapped twice around the deck. The rubber band vanishes and reappears around the selected card. This is a nice impromptu effect with a rubber band and a deck of cards.

Finally, Snap Jack offers a nifty card transposition of a jack and two aces inside a card case that is bewildering to spectators. Like most transposition effects, the switch of the cards is impressive, but I’m not convinced that the addition of the card box makes the transposition any stronger.

Columbini offers good explanations. You’ll need some solid sleight of hand skills with cards, coins and cups & balls to tackle the effects on this DVD. The selections here are Columbini’s take on classics that have been explained in different versions in a number of books and DVDs. But because it’s Aldo Columbini who adds his brand of twists and flair, his version of the classics are worth the look.

-Wayne N. Kawamoto

MSRP: (US) $29.95

Dealers can purchase from Murphy's Magic Supplies, Inc.

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