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DVD Review: Stand-Up Magic For Kids

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


DVD Review: Stand-Up Magic For Kids
Can the secret to great kids magic be found in a single DVD? “Bill Abbott Performs Stand-Up Magic For Kids” comes darn close. This excellent DVD only profiles three routines, but they’re high-impact, powerhouse effects that are clearly worth the price of admission. This DVD is a virtual gift to serious kid magicians everywhere.

The strongest effect is “Chico the Mind Reader.” Of course, not every magician wants to add a puppet to his or her act. But Abbott’s “Chico” is a hilarious show-stopper and even closer. Chico is a simple monkey hand-puppet. But in Abbott’s hands, the puppet has real character and a mind of his own. Abbot is as accomplished a puppeteer as he is a magician.

The effect itself is a fairly conventional prediction routine, but the comedy bits make it a memorable one. According to the DVD notes, Abbott has booked more shows from this routine than any other in his repertoire. I believe it. Heck, I just enjoyed watching the performance. It’s that strong and entertaining.

“Sponge Snack” is Abbott’s powerful silent opener, his take on “balls out of the mouth.” As the name implies, the performer seemingly takes ball after ball from his or her mouth. It’s a classic that has been performed with eggs and lots of other objects. Abbott’s routine is funny, visual and reaches a logical conclusion. This one clearly packs small and plays big.

The "Thing"

“The Thing” is a one-man levitation that is similar to “Zombie,” but can be performed almost anywhere and with little worry about angles. In Abbott’s routine, an empty box produces “a thing” that seemingly has a mind of its own as it mysteriously flies around under the cover of a foulard. This is another strong and visual effect. There's considerable work putting this one together.

Throughout, Abbott does an excellent job of offering explanations and everything that you need to know to learn and perform the effects, and develop your own routines. In particular, he explains and teaches his philosophy on puppets. He’s obviously doing a lot right. And this DVD shows that Abbott is a true pro who has spent lots of time refining his craft and routines.

“Bill Abbott Performs Stand-Up Magic For Kids” may only provide three effects, but each is a winner. All will take some work to develop and perform well. But if you’re a serious kids performer, you’ll likely find them worth the effort.

-Wayne N. Kawamoto

Dealers can purchase from Murphy's Magic Supplies

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