Six performances, Six standing ovations at Toronto’s Luminato Festival 2013

Toronto’s Luminato Festival is a big deal. Each summer, hundreds of performing artists are invited to Toronto to participate in a 10-day celebration of the arts. Since the festival’s inception seven years ago, “magic” has been included in the programming thanks to the efforts of David Ben and Julie Eng. International stars of magic such as Juan Tamariz, Max Maven and Mac King have performed their full shows there in previous years.

This year I was asked to present “Chamber Magic” at Luminato, and I’m glad I accepted the invitation. On June 17, 18 and 19, I performed six shows (two each night) at the George Brown house, a National Historic Site that usually is off-limits to the public. The house was completed in 1876 and restored to its former glory – an excellent location for my old-school brand of parlor magic. In fact, the show was situated right in George Brown’s parlor — you can’t beat that! […]

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Canada’s Globe and Mail: You haven’t seen magic tricks till you’ve seen Steve Cohen


June 18, 2013 by Michael Posner

Monday evening: George Brown House, an Ontario heritage building situated just south of the University of Toronto, is named, of course, after the distinguished Father of Confederation and founder of The Globe, the newspaper that became the newspaper you are reading. Normally off-limits to the great unwashed, Brown’s stately home was the venue chosen by Luminato’s go-to magic man, David Ben, to showcase the extraordinary legerdemain of American magician Steve Cohen.

The setting proved an apt backdrop for Cohen’s act, which owes a considerable debt to Johann Hofzinser, the 19th-century Austrian known as the father of card magic. At New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Cohen’s unofficial home, he typically entertains audiences of no more than 50. For the Toronto cohort, only slightly larger, the diminutive Cohen – nattily attired in morning coat, waistcoat and striped trousers – deftly stick-handled his way through a series of jaw-dropping tricks, each seemingly more difficult than the last. […]

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