The Amazing Max: Show Review by Antonia Kasper


The Amazing Max isn’t just another kids’ magic show. It’s much more significant. Max Darwin is like a motivational speaker and comedian rolled into one who uses magic as its vehicle to make kids (and adults) feel good about themselves.  The message: Be you. Be proud to be you. And it’s okay to be different.  What makes The Amazing Max show magical is that he lets the kids shine!

There was a fun 30 minute pre-show, with an adult assistant.  The kids who participated sat on a “magic carpet” in front of the stage and learned a few simple magic tricks. Before they headed back to their families in the audience, the kids were gifted with some fun magic giveaways.

Max exploded onto the stage with quick-witted banter and striking poses.  His glowing blonde hair and black cool attire added to his eccentric but kid-friendly persona. While the interactive show is recommended for 3-12 year olds, the audience, young and old, was completely engaged as high energy Max bounced around performing impressive tricks.

I was accompanied by my now “very mature” 9 year-old daughter, Shea, her 11 year-old friend, Lily and Lily’s mom, Leslie.  Leslie and I both sensed these tweens were expecting just another kids show filled with toddlers and silly magic tricks that they could decipher. But before we knew it, Shea and Lily were giggling and completely taken with not just with the magic but the comedy.

What makes this show special are the random kids Max picks from the audience to act as his assistants.

One excited assistant was a sweet 7 year-old named Arianna.  Max was going to give her a present.  When he offered her a lousy napkin, she replied, “Are you kidding me? That’s not a present.” Then he pulled out a box with a bright shiny bow.  Arianna grinned, “Now that’s more like it!”  Then Max asked to borrow Arianna’s dad’s wedding ring and tucked it in a handkerchief as Arianna’s dad was still sitting in the audience.  “Wouldn’t it be cool if I could make this ring appear back on his hand?” Max asked us.  We were all thinking that would be spellbinding, especially since the dad was about 30 feet away from the stage and the ring.  “Yeah, that would be cool,” Max smiled. “Too bad I can’t do that.”  Max apparently dropped the ring and frantically searches his pockets and the stage. “Uh oh.  I can’t find your dad’s ring.  Oops I really messed up.”   He confesses to Arianna. “But open your present.” When Arianna opened her present: a tiny box, inside a medium box inside the original box…and a teeny tiny bag inside a small bag inside the tiny box…and what was inside that teeny tiny bag tied up with a bow—her dad’s wedding ring.

Max’s quirkiness is appealing.  He acts like an absent-minded magician, yet, he is really quite the genius.  His act is like the boxes—a trick within a trick. Motivating the audience to cheer for each child after their assistance and Max tossing them a magic wand to take home was positively impactful.  The kids are part of the entertainment with their innocent reactions and uncensored comments.

Max’s fun comedic flare and feel good dialogue is worth the price of the ticket.  Allowing, accepting and applauding each child for their courage and instilling the message to believe in themselves is the power of this show.  It takes talent to let others, especially kids, find their place in the sun (or their spotlight) and that’s what makes Max truly amazing!

The show runs through February 24th at Theatre at Blessed Sacrament in NYC.  It is 60 minutes, no intermission. Visit http://theamazingmaxlive.com/.

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