Tag Archives: mentalist

Mind Over Matter

21 Jun

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The calm is now upon us after the thrilling chaos that was Luminato and what are we left with? The satisfying aftertaste of success from  the Mind Over Matter magical series!

Mind Over Matter

For this year’s Luminato, Magicana went with the saying, “Mind Over Matter”, a term originally used to refer to paranormal phenomena, to best describe the magic behind these three performers. While each show was different from the other, they all had a common theme: how magic is essentially delivered and perceived through the power of the mind.

The world’s leading mentalist, Banachek, astounded, intrigued and inspired crowds with his life story through The Alpha Project, while Richard Turner cheated his way into the hearts of Torontonians with his incredible feats in card manipulation. Similarly, Juan Esteban Varela, despite NOT being the blonde with rippling muscles as he claimed to be, resonated strongly with From the Dark, as he made his mark with one of magic’s most experiential, groundbreaking shows to date.

The Alpha Project: Insight into the Life of a Mentalist

The Alpha Project revealed Banachek’s life story. Having gone through a trying childhood – abandoned at age 9 – Banachek embraced these tribulations and used them to support him on his way to becoming a mentalist. At 18, Banachek made headlines when, for a period of four years under close scrutiny, he convinced research scientists at Washington University that he was psychic. Entitled Project Alpha,the purpose of this experiment was to disprove others who claimed to be real psychics and to declare to the world that even scientists, when lacking expertise in the arts of deception, can be easily misled.

With rave reviews from The Toronto Star, Mooney on Theatre and Torontoist, it looks like The Alpha Project fulfilled its purpose in spreading this word!

The Cheat: Why One Should Never Play Cards with Strangers

In between wowing spectators for Luminato, Richard Turner, “The Cheat” also performed for Holland Bloorview and the Parliament Branch Library. Rounds of Texas Hold ‘Em, poker, blackjack and three card monte then ensued between Richard Turner and the audience. The end results, of course, always went according to his liking, despite the inordinate amount of shuffles by audience members and, at some rounds, with limited cards.

Richard Turner, along with boggling the minds of Toronto,  also charmed the hosts of the Morning Show and the CBC’s Eli Glasner. See Richard’s part in this CBC News clip in which Eli Glasner calls today’s age a “Magic Renaissance“.

From the Dark: Magic at Its Purest Form

For the closing weekend of Luminato, we followed Juan Esteban Varela, blindfolded, as he guided us through his new show, From the Dark – the only magic show that happens in absolute darkness. With everyone participating, the show quickly became an experience with a sea of voices in an unknown space. These factors contributed to the show’s overall mystery, which is essentially magic in its base form.  Indeed, Toronto Star and Cadence Canada both agreed that From the Dark was truly unique in its premise and most of all, its effect.

And so, we end Luminato 6 with invigorating vibes and positive feedback from Toronto.

“Crazy with Curiosity”: Toronto Reacts to Banachek’s “The Alpha Project”

11 Jun

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“If you’re hoping to be driven crazy with curiosity this weekend, this British mentalist has got the show for you.”

-Laura Godfrey, Torontoist, June 9, 2012

The people have spoken: rave reviews of Banachek’s show this weekend, “The Alpha Project” have started pouring in, all singing praise to the man who lived up to his name as the world’s leading mentalist.

From the Torontoist, written by Laura Godfrey:

“You can strain your neck and edge as far off your seat as you want, but there’s no question that Banachek is a master of his craft—there’s a reason he counts Penn & Teller, David Blaine, and Criss Angel among the acts he’s consulted for. Even after he tells you it’s not real, every trick is followed by a single question, rippling through the crowd: “How did he do that?”

It may not be magic, but that’s okay—it’s still mystery, suspense, and high entertainment.”

From Mooney on Theatre, by Dorianne Emmerton:

“A lot of people believe in telepathy, psychokinesis, past life regression and ghosts. These people go to a magic show ready and willing to believe. Others, like me, are skeptics who go simply for entertainment.

Banachek’s The Alpha Project, playing as part of Luminato, is a great show for the latter. For both kinds of people (and those in between) it’s (…) a fun night.”

And how did Banachek do on his predictions of last Saturday’s (June 9) front page headlines?

From The Toronto Star, by Wendy Gillis:

“The surprise retirement of I’ll Have Another was there. The out-of-the-blue bid for the 2024 Olympics was there. The story on gang violence? There. He even had the feature article on Australian Aboriginals.

In a feat of unbelievable (no, really) news forecasting, U.K. mentalist Banachek seems to have accurately predicted the front page of Saturday’s Star 10 days in advance.”

Toronto Star talks to He Who Knows…

7 Jun

“How predictable is the front page news?
We’re about to find out.”

-Bruce DeMara, Toronto Star
June 12, 2012

When the Toronto Star asked the world’s leading mentalist, Banachek, about what he does and how he does it, Banachek was quoted to have answered cryptically, “I use verbal communication, non-verbal communications. There’s magic thrown in and there’s a conglomeration of different things and that’s what a mentalist does” (Banachek, The Toronto Star). Read more…

Join us as we await with bated breath for Banachek’s prediction of the front page headlines on June 9, 3PM @ Kiehl’s on 407 Queen Street West.

Follow @sharingwonder @luminato @kiehlsca #luminato2012 for updates!

In the meantime, see Banachek’s new show, The Alpha Project (directed by Jim Millan) June 8, 9, 10 at the Fleck Theatre at Harbourfront as part of the Mind Over Matter magic series for Luminato. Details and ticket information can be found here:www.magicana.com/banachek

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