Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
On Friday evening, Mike Super took to the LPAC stage for what he called an “interactive magic experience.” The show seemed to be a popular choice for that evening’s entertainment: people showed up well in advance to wait in line, and the theater was almost filled to capacity. Before the show had even begun, it was clear that Super had already found a devoted fan in Ethan Ucker ’07, who taped posters advertising the show onto his shirt.
Super, who was named 2004 Novelty Entertainer of the Year, started the show off by drawing a bowling ball in a sketchpad and then making an actual bowling ball fall out from the pad. He then went on to “recycle” an empty soda can by resealing and refilling it and to tear up a newspaper only to reveal that it was once again in one piece.
For many of his illusions, Super selected people from the audience to assist him. One girl was brought on stage to help with a cut and restored rope trick as well as a vanishing knot illusion, while a six year old boy was called upon to display his “psychic powers” for a card trick. Another audience member was used for a demonstration of “voodoo magic.” Ucker also got his chance to be on stage to help Super with his linking rings illusion.
Audience member Juliet Braslow ’07 was chosen for the levitation illusion. Super placed a board on two step ladders and then had Braslow lie down on the board. Super then removed the supports from underneath the board, leaving her levitating a few feet above the ground. When asked about the experience, Braslow said, “I wish I could have some insight on how he did it, but I’m just as clueless as everyone else, if not more so because I didn’t see what was happening,” going on to add that at least now she can say that she’s levitated. Another highlight of the show involved a piece of tissue paper. Super first made the paper dance on his hand and up and down his arm, and then helped an audience member to do the same. Super then took the paper and constructed a rose out of it. After he was done, he made the rose levitate before lighting it on fire to reveal a red rose which he presented to the girl.
Super concluded the show with a story about his mother, who encouraged his dream to perform magic. In honor of her memory, his last trick was to create snow in his hands. Afterwards, he stuck around to talk to curious audience members. Most audience members seemed to find Super’s combination of magic and humor to be entertaining, even if they didn’t follow UckerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lead and give a standing ovation after each illusion.