Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: Maho Magic Bar

Part show. Part bar. All magic! A wacky hour with magicians from Japan and Australia in a bespoke bar of neon and cherry blossoms.

Unlike other magic shows, this one transports you to another time and place, and that’s perhaps its most successful trick.

Presented by Broad Encounters Productions
Reviewed 20 February 2022

It’s a little bit zany, it’s a little bit loud, and it’s a little bit mind-blowing when you witness magic so close-up.

The wow factor is only drowned out by the noise in the purpose-build Tokyo-style magic bar, neon-lit outside and dingy-stylish on the inside. Five magicians circulate across five bars/tables, performing close-up magic to the punters randomly chosen to sit at each. Every table gets new magic, not the same performed at a previous table, meaning multiple visits to this crazy Japanese entertainment could mean a whole set of new magic tricks each time.

Johnny Balance is the host. He’s suave, campy, funny, loud and revs up the crowd like no-one’s business. He’s also one of the magicians who, as his name suggests, can balance the most ridiculous things on his chin.

Shohgo Yamashita, Kaori Kitazawa, Sarito, and Jonio round out the magicians, each with their own unique style and tricks. One puts a nail up his nose, another swallows a balloon. There’s card magic, coin magic, variations on magic rings, and crazy things appearing out of beards. Each magician only gets a short time at each station though, so the pace can be quick, even if the change overs can sometimes be slow.

Between these acts, there’s a special cocktail menu and each time someone orders one of them, a whole new surprise steals focus, often dragging the unsuspecting buyer into the routine.

At the back of the room, the real bar tender is another sight to behold, spinning his cocktail shakers in the air and bouncing them off his body as he makes these special treats. Of course, there’s non-alcoholic cocktails too and these are just as addictive.

Maho Magic Bar is the wacky night you didn’t know you need in these wacky times we live in. Inside the bar, you’re in a cherry-blossomed word full of laughter, music and surprises. It leaves the real world at the door, giving a highly amusing and wonderous hour that will have you gasping with shock and crying out in surprise from the many illusions. Unlike other magic shows, this one transports you to another time and place, and that’s perhaps its most successful trick.

Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Twitter: @StrtegicRetweet

Venue: Maho Magic Bar, Garden of Unearthly Delights
Season: Until 20 March, various times
Duration: 1 hour
Tickets: $49 – $74

Rating out of 5: 4

#Adelaide # ADLfringe

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