Evanston magician wins citywide competition

An Evanston magician has won a Chicago competition featuring some of the best magicians in the area. Below is a press release with more information:

On Sunday, August 24th, the Chicago History Museum—whose elegant stained glass-appointed Chicago Room is often the site of weddings and other formal events—set off the work of eight Chicago performers with sophisticated style.

Each performer was allotted eight minutes to impress the audience at large, which would decide by secret ballot the recipient of the People’s Choice Award. A three-member Judging Panel would decide the recipients of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place Awards.

The Judging Panel included one experienced magician, Don Wiberg, the 48th International President of the largest magic fraternity in the world, the International Brotherhood of Magicians. At the opposite end of the spectrum sat the Chicago History Museum’s Public Programs Coordinator and magic novice, Ani Schmidt. Balancing the two extremes was the magic-savvy director of last year’s Jeff-nominated “Barnum” and this year’s Jeff-nominated “Avenue Q” and “The Color Purple,” L. Walter Stearns, Executive Director of the Mercury Theater.

After the performers drew their performing order at random, the magic began. Evanston resident Frank “The Great Frankini” Glab hooked the crowd with a fast-paced three-card monte set to ragtime music. Mark Presley skillfully produced a profusion of thimbles. Tori Noquez treated two onstage participants to close-up card magic. Luis Carreon manipulated coins and neckties before invisibly transporting cards across the stage. AJ Sacco provided offbeat comedic commentary when he wasn’t coughing up red sponge clown noses in alarming sizes. James Sanden inflated currency, transposed cards, and materialized a full bottle of wine for one lucky audience member.

At times, the setting supplied additional nuances to the performances: part of the Chicago Coliseum facade—one-time home of the Chicago Blackhawks—bore witness to Ryan Lawrence’s location of a selected playing card with a hockey stick. Mad Hatter top-hatted Kyle Bassett danced with a floating table just a few feet from an equally recognizable topper: a stovepipe worn by Abraham Lincoln.

While the votes were being tabulated, the previous competition’s champion, Tim Hannig, entertained with his award-winning act. Then this year’s winners were announced: 3rd Place, AJ Sacco; 2nd Place, Luis Carreon; 1st Place, James Sanden; People’s Choice, Frank Glab. They were each awarded handcrafted wands of exotic and domestic woods from Fortress Wand Works. All eight competitors were recognized with calligraphed certificates and complimentary tickets to the upcoming October revival of “Supernatural Chicago” at Castle nightclub.

Co-presenting the competition with the Chicago History Museum was the Chicago Assembly of the Society of American Magicians, the oldest fraternal organization for magicians in the world. Its Chicago Assembly is one of the organization’s oldest chapters—with a charter that was signed in 1919 by then-National President Harry Houdini.

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1 Comment

  • Houdini's last magic trick demo

    […] Evanston magician wins citywide competition Each performer was allotted eight minutes to impress the audience at large, which would decide by secret ballot the recipient of the People's Choice Award. A three-member ... The Judging Panel included one experienced magician, Don Wiberg, the 48th ... Read more on Evanston Review […]

    2014-09-15 11:24:49 | Reply

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