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DVD Review: Tivoliland

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


DVD Review: Tivoliland
Arthur Tivoli is an offbeat and hilarious comedy magician and balloon artist from France. Some of the effects on this DVD are Tivoli’s presentations for classic effects, and others are those from his own repertoire--often using balloons. While I generally liked this collection of stand-up tricks, perhaps some presentations have lost something in the translations.

Tivoli Takes on Classics

Coco Chanel is Tivoli’s take on classic gypsy thread. Here, he weaves a tale of the famous fashion designer--breaking apart a length of thread and ultimately restoring it. Despite dressing this one up with an adequate theme, it’s basic gypsy thread.

Adding a story to the three-fly coin trick, here, a tale of a Russian circus and its acrobats, Tivoli offers his version of “coins across” in Youssoupof Three-fly. In classic three-fly, three coins magically move from one hand to the other, and the coins are held up high at near eye-level. There are lots of versions of three-fly and Tivoli’s execution and presentation is a good one.

My favorite effect was Mono-gobelet, a one-cup routine where the performer continually removes a ball from an inverted, ungimmicked cup. At the end, there’s an intriguing and large load. Here, Tivoli offers a Japanese theme.


Josie the Mouse offers an intriguing “zombie”-style effect with a balloon animal. It’s a great adaptation that allows a balloon animal in the shape of a mouse to seemingly float around on its own accord while covered with a handkerchief and clearly be handled on its own. It’s a winner.

Named after the famed sculptor, Rodin offers an effect that uses cards with animal names. A spectator selects an animal card and the magician brings out a small hammer, a nail and a mess of a balloon sculpture-there’s no way to tell what the sculpture represents. The magician takes the hammer and nail and pops segments of the balloon sculpture until it resembles an animal. At the end, the animal is shown to be the same as that on the card the spectator selected.

More Madness

Another balloon-based stunt called Brain Cell is not a magic trick, but an entertaining interlude. Here, audience members try and move a balloon from one place to another, with comical results. Puzzle offers a strong torn and restored card effect and Tivoli’s Bill Switch is exactly what the name implies. His Clement Ader offers a torn and restored cigarette paper routine.

The climax to the act is Tivoli’s William Tell where a signed bill vanishes in a small explosion of confetti and appears in an apple that has been placed on a spectator’s head while re-enacting the legend of William Tell. A second spectator plays William Tell and is given a balloon bow and arrow. This is a great effect that is reminiscent of bill to lemon, but is dressed in a strong theme with lots of spectator participation and interaction.

Tivoli does a good job of explaining his effects, which are strong and play well. None of the effects here are knuckle busters or difficult to perform. Even if you don’t care for Tivoli’s presentation, you can still learn some great tricks.

-Wayne N. Kawamoto

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

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