Mosaic / Reviews / February 25, 2010

Daniel Martin: more wit than tricks

Magician Daniel Martin brought a relaxed atmosphere of performing to Kresge Recital Hall on Wednesday, February 24. The audience was small but enthusiastic. Martin started off the show by informing the audience of his abilities.

“I do one thing and I do it damn well: I magish,” he said.

All of the tricks were more impressive than they seemed at first because there were no lights and flashes. Martin’s magic was just entertainment without the glitz. It was nice to have a show that stuck more to the actual performance than the wow factor. None of the tricks were one-of-a-kind, but they were executed well.

Martin was best when it came to talking in between tricks. He was able to be sarcastic and tease the participants without being mean. He also showed knowledge of his audience by making several teenage style sex jokes when it came to the straitjacket portion of the show.

Some of the tricks made fun of magic more than they practiced it. He called sophomore Tom Thorsett up to the stage and asked him what his favorite soda was. Thorsett responded with Sprite and Martin went to pull something out of the mysterious white paper bag that was sitting on stage from the beginning. Martin let the suspense build and then pulled out a root beer. He responded to the audience’s slight confusion with, “But that would have been pretty awesome if it was.”

He then started the real magic by crushing the bag with the empty bottle against Thorsett’s stomach. The bag flattened out and the bottle appeared in Martin’s other hand.

Martin also showed a trick from his childhood. He moved a covered peanut butter jar and jelly jar from where they were to the other’s spot and back without removing the covers. He did this “magic” to the magic words of, “Please, let this work.” He then matured the trick by actually changing the jar’s spots.

One of the most perplexing tricks had to do with a dollar bill. It is fairly common for magicians to make dollar bills disappear and reappear somewhere else, but Martin put his own finesse into the old trick. He called volunteer Silbia Prado-Ragan, age six, up to the stage to be his helper. Prado-Ragan brought her stuffed cat Daisy up with her, whom Martin said gave him the permission to tear Prado-Ragan’s dollar. Martin had sophomore Peter Thomas write down the serial number, then put the dollar in an envelope and tore it several times. The dollar was found whole except for the original tear, inside the cushion of one of the audience chairs.

Martin was able to make improvisations both entertaining and fluid. One student was on her cell phone during the show so Martin called her up to the stage. He inflated a balloon and pushed the phone through the side of the balloon. He then popped the balloon and gave the phone back with the following instructions, “Open your phone, push the power button, and sit your ass down.” This was all said with obvious jest, but it did make the student stay off her phone.

The big finale of the show was pretty impressive. Martin put on a prerecorded episode of MTV Cribs featuring his hotel room house. The episode went on like a normal episode, but unique things that happened during the Knox performance were interwoven in the episode. These were all results from tricks that would have been difficult to predict ahead of the show.

Overall, Daniel Martin was entertaining. He may not have brought glitz and glam, but he brought well-executed magic tricks and the right amount of commentary.

Jennifer Lloyd

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