Wednesday, March 6, 2013

REVIEW: Mugged by Rich Marrotta

Hello, all!

Before I get into this week’s review, I wanted to touch base on a few effects that I reviewed in the past and how things are fairing now that they are in my active performing sets.

The first is Peter Loughran’s Splattered which is an updated, more modern looking Square Circle. I had the opportunity to use it for seven performances in New York City this past week. Using it for grades K-4, I had a unique opportunity to perform for different age levels. In other words, I did one show for grade 1, another show for grade 2 and so on, meaning I was really able to pinpoint how certain ages of kids reacted. Fortunately, they all loved it.

While Splattered can enable users to produce a multitude of different things, I went with simplicity – I produced a 6 foot colorful streamer and then produced a 6 foot square dragon silk.
So, after several uses and several months of performing, culminating with this past week, Splattered remains a helluva keeper.

The next relatively new effect that I reviewed a while back that I want to touch upon is another Peter Loughran effect, Creature Shock. This effect is SO fun! At the aforementioned school, I performed at, I was able to perform Creature Shock four times. I did not perform it for anyone younger than grade 2, because I was worried about scaring the little guys.:)

Once again, the effect ROCKED. I was able to perform it several times over the last few months, but performing it multiple times for one client in one day was really cool!
OK, now on to this week’s review: Mugged by Rich Marrotta. It’s available for $89.95 from Hocus Pocus.

AD COPY: Mugged by Rich Marotta is finally back on the market after a lengthy absence. And boy, are we glad. It's always been a HOT SELLER, because it's contemporary, it's surprising and, quite frankly, it's hilarious!

Straight out of Rich Marotta's comedy act comes the story of a mugger's efforts to rob a magician and how the robber's attempt is foiled due to the magician's skill.

The performer relates a story of how he was robbed on the way to his performance. He shows the audience the mugger's ski mask, then proceeds to reenact the crime. He drops his money, watch, and ring into the mask. But of course, the mugger didn't know that his victim was a magician!

The performer turns the ski mask inside out - and WHAM, it's completely EMPTY!

Suddenly, the ring is seen to be back on the performer's finger, the watch is on his wrist, and the money is back in his wallet, thus averting a potential calamity!

This newly updated version of Mugged by Rich Marotta comes complete with everything you'll need to perform this audience-beloved effect, including detailed instructions and updated accessories, including the hand-made, specially constructed ski mask, watch, ring and instructional DVD!

DIFFICULTY: This effect is really easy, probably one of the easiest versions of this effect out there. I saw Tommy Wonder’s version on the L&L videos and also loved it but the ‘how-to’ of that version is challenging to put together, putting it mildly. This version is VERY simple.

QUALITY OF PROPS: The mask is well-built but my biggest issue  is the fact that Rich no longer makes them in red, but instead makes them black. From a staging standpoint, this means from a distance it may be difficult to see that it is in fact a black mask and not just a black hat.
The supplied watch and ring is perfectly fine for the purpose of the effect. The supplied wallet is better in quality than the old plastic billfold-type one Rich used to sell with the effect, but by supplying a hip wallet with this routine, my opinion is that from a staging standpoint, it may not be as visible from a slight distance.

Knowing the reputation of this effect and in particular the supplied wallet from years ago, I ordered a superior wallet just for this routine…mostly because I like nice props.:)

QUALITY OF INSTRUCTION: The supplied written instructions and supplied DVD is adequate, but barely. Honestly, the instructions are skimpy to say the least. Fortunately, the effect is very easy to do, so adequate instructions will serve you.

ANGLES: With the exception of one move, the effect can easily be performed surrounded. The one move can also be masked (no pun intended) quite easily so angles are good for most parlor or stage situations.

MY THOUGHTS: This is one of those effects I wanted 15 years or so ago when I first saw it advertised in the magazines. The simple description sounded so impossible, with the money, ring and watch “instantly” reappearing in the magician’s possession. Years later, with several years experience under my belt, I still enjoyed watching Rich’s demo of the effect on the video.
For the asking price of the effect, you get a well-constructed routine that is organic and makes sense. All of the props fit the routine and there is motivation for everything.
The props and the instruction are not of the highest quality, but they will serve you just fine.
9/10. A good value for what you will pay.

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