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Tommy Wonder's 2 Cup Routine Review

Official Review

February 28th, 2015 11:53am
Reviewed by James Sanden
Tommy Wonder’s Two Cup Routine is arguably one of the finest versions of the cups and balls ever performed, created by one of magic’s greatest masters, Tommy Wonder. Leo Smetsers took private lessons from Tommy Wonder in 2001 and this DVD consists of video footage from those lessons during which Mr. Wonder teaches his Two Cup Routine. The DVD has 2 chapters: a performance of the routine in someone’s home, done for Mr. Smetsers, and a chapter teaching the routine itself.

Unfortunately, this is by far the worst available resource one could consult to learn the routine. The explanation is a mere 6 minutes long and is more of a walk through than any sort of education about the full routine. 6 minutes might be enough to teach a simple effect, but in this case falls far short of covering everything required to successfully perform a routine of this caliber. The footage is also shot from only one angle, which is from Mr. Wonder’s right side. If one had to choose one angle to study the routine from, this is likely the best angle, but that shouldn’t be a choice one has to make.

If this were the only available way to learn Mr. Wonder’s Two Cup Routine, then, despite its drawbacks, I would heartily recommend it, as documenting a routine of this caliber is of the utmost importance. However, not only does Mr. Wonder extensively discuss the routine in his “Books of Wonder,” which are still available (and are required reading for any serious student of magic,) he also teaches the routine on volume one of his DVD set “Visions of Wonder.” While I don’t know the exact length of time he spends teaching the effect on the DVD, there are five effects taught on the disc, which is 123 minutes long, so he most certainly spent more than 6 minutes teaching it. This in depth instruction, coupled with the facts that the DVD’s were shot in a studio with multiple camera angles and Max Maven was present offering intelligent commentary, results in a far superior resource to learn this routine.

To be clear, this review of the DVD is not a comment on Tommy Wonder as a teacher, the excellent quality of which is evident in his books and DVD’s. The low quality of the content is a function of the fact that, at the time of the lesson, I imagine Mr. Wonder wasn’t thinking the footage would be offered to the public as a way of learning his routine. He was just doing a quick walk through so his student would have something on tape to review during his studies.

Tommy Wonder’s Two Cup Routine is a masterwork in magic, misdirection, surprise and construction. For $35 (an additional $10) one can get a far more in depth lesson on the first disc from the “Visions of Wonder” set, on which he also teaches two of his other classic routines, “The Ring, The Watch and The Wallet” and “The Tamed Card.” Frankly, any magician worth his or her salt should have both the discs and the “Books of Wonder” in their library. Ultimately, all magicians should study this routine. Just not using this DVD.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Tommy Wonder's 2 Cup Routine

Author: Wonder, Tommy
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $25.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

On this DVD Tommy teaches one of his masterpieces, The two cup Routine, to magician and entertainer Leo Smetsers from The Netherlands. A 'must' for every lover of magic and believe us, this will become a collectors item!

Tommy Wonder
(1953-2006) is an acknowledged icon in the magic world, national and international. The Books of Wonder from this world-famous artist are considered as belonging to the top of magic literature. Tommy is recognized because of his great technical skills and his unbelievable ability to misled people.

"Our most sincere thanks and appreciation goes out to the family of Tommy Wonder for allowing us to share Tommy's magic with the magic fraternity."
- Leo Smetsers

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