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Chicago Surprise Review

December 14th, 2002 6:50pm
Reviewed by KimSilverman
I performed the traditional Chicago Opener for about a year, and found it great: it's quick, baffling, and funny. But it has some problems, which are well addressed by Whit's version. And Whit's version has some added advantages for me.

One problem with traditional Chicago Opener is that a different-coloured card has to be already placed on the bottom of the deck. Another is that the deck needs to be in a special order -- at least the bottom 2 cards do. A third problem, at least with the way I performed it, was that the first time a person chooses a coard from the Hindu shuffle we take the top card of the bottom half of the deck, but the second time we take the bottom card from the top half of the deck. This inconsistency is often noted by spectators and raises suspicions.

Whit's routine freed me up from all of these disadvantages, In addition it FINALLY has given me a safe reliable context n which to practice my Classic Force (which I STILL cannot do!) because in Whit's routine it matters not one iota whether I succeed, so the pressure is off. It allows me to perform this routine right after somebody has shuffled the cards and I have been using the deck for other routines.

The down side of this routine is that it does take a bit of practice to get the script down, and it is complex and so a memory burden. But I think any routine this good is worth putting some work and rehearsal into it.

Product info for Chicago Surprise

Author: Haydn, Whit
Publisher: School for Scoundrels
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $19.90
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Manufacturer's Description:

Plot: A red-backed card is freely selected from a red-backed deck. The back of the chosen card changes color to blue so that it is easily found. The blue-backed card is placed under a saltshaker, the spectator's finger, or even under the spectator's foot. Another red-backed card is then selected from the deck. The magician, merely by snapping his fingers, changes the face of the blue-backed card to match the face of the second freely chosen card.

This 34-page booklet details all the ins and outs, psychology and theory of Whit Haydn's unique and very powerful version of the Chicago Opener or Red Hot Mama card trick-the version used by many of the top close-up workers.

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