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Born in Stockholm (Sweden), now live in Sapporo (Japan). Hold a Ph.D. in computer science and work with computers during the days, perform magic in a bar during the nights (and weekends, for kids). Also used to teach historical fencing back in Sweden.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Magic Bar Review: Stage show at Magic Bar Stockholm

I have been to Magic Bar Stockholm several times before (previous review of Magic Bar Stockholm). On Fridays and Saturdays they have a stage show, but I have never managed to catch one of these before. Usually I come to Sweden in July and then the stage show is closed for the summer (though they still show you table magic) and when I came here in the autumn once, the whole place was reserved for some party the only night I was in Sweden... But this time I managed to see the stage show, and it was great!



Normally, there is no table charge at Magic Bar Stockholm, you only pay for the things you order. On nights with the stage show, there is a small charge for watching the show too (though if you come early, eat and leave before the show starts I think you do not have to pay the charge on days with stage shows either). I met a man called Gunnar in the wardrobe, who gave me a sticker showing that I had paid for the show.


Then I went inside and got a table very close to the stage, which was good. There was a special "show night" menu, with three choices of two dish dinners. I picked the one called Houdini, which had marinated salmon with fried bread as a first dish, and meat with ratatouille and french fries for the second. I was there so early so that when I finished my food there was still about an hour until the stage show would start, so I also ordered a dessert. All the food was good (it has always been good when I have been to Magic Bar Stockholm before too).


While I was waiting for my food, the magician Anders Fox came to my table and did some magic for me. He did card tricks for me. When I watched him perform for the people at the table next to mine, he also did some rubber band magic tricks, and the "professor's nightmare" rope trick. He was pretty funny, and had a very energetic performance character. He came back to my table after I had finished all my food and did some more magic. He did a "do as I do" magic trick, with a funny presentation style. At some other tables he did a visitors card trick and some mental style effects.


When I went to the toilet, Gunnar in the wardrobe asked me if I knew a certain song (which I did) and who made it famous (I did not). He told me the name of the singer, and asked me to yell that to him when he asked for it on stage later, in case no one else knew the name of the singer.


Anders Fox
At slightly after nine, it was time for the stage show to start. By then, all the tables in the room with the stage were more or less full, and there were some people standing next to bar too. First, Anders Fox did half an hour of stage magic. He asked a woman to join him on stage and did a rope trick with her. A rope was cut in two, but the ropes never seemed to become equal length no matter how many times they were cut to size. The rope was cut and then restored again, etc. He then asked four men to come up on stage, and I was one of the four selected. We got to sit in a ring, lay our heads down in the knees of the guy behind us, and then the magician pulled away our chairs and we were locked in a weird "floating without balance" position. He finished by filling a glass with water and turning it upside down without the water falling out of the glass.


Gunnar on stage
Next, Gunnar from the wardrobe came on stage and said that it was an intermission now, and that during this break he was going to tell us something. He then started doing very impressive things with his voice, like talking with an echo, talking very very fast, talking as if playing the sound backwards, etc. He sang some songs and "showed" that if you sing a song backwards it becomes a song in Russian. I got to yell out the answer to his question regarding who had made a certain song popular, and what year that was.


Håkan Berg singing

Finally, Håkan Berg and his pianist Micke Svan (who played piano during the show) came on stage and did an extremely funny show. First, Håkan Berg did a fairly long stage magic show in the character of someone who believes he is the world's greatest magician but who makes almost every thing go wrong. Very funny. Then they did some singing, and some stand up comedy. The songs were nice, and the jokes very funny. There was some more magic, more songs, and more comedy. They were called back for an encore after they finished, and they did one more song then. I laughed so much it hurt. Håkan Berg is a genius.


A knot, spit out by Håkan Berg and landing next to my foot.

Me and Håkan Berg

Location: A little bit off but easily accessible by subway (2 minutes walk from the subway station).
Type of magic: stage show on weekends, close up every day (closed on Sundays)
Quality of magic: good, though I guess it may vary since there are different magicians working every week.
Cost: 125 SEK in stage show charge (less than 2000 yen), dinner course from 350 SEK (5000 yen or so).
Interior: Very nice.
Staff: Nice, but pretty slow service.
Overall impression: The close up magic was good but pretty standard. The stage show has two different magicians (or teams of magicians) each weekend, and you get to see two short shows. When I was there, one show was good, one was excellent.


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