Each year, the Melbourne Magic Festival prides itself on ensuring that international performers are included in the festival. The benefit of this is that audiences get to see magic they’ve likely never seen before, from places they may not get to travel to. Shows by international performers are highly anticipated and the show by “The Great Kaplan” (David Kaplan) – hailing from the USA – was no exception.
I did not know what to expect when The Great Kaplan appeared on stage after quite an eye catching and hilarious opening sequence, so it’s definitely a case of ‘expect the unexpected’ with this show! The Great Kaplan is a one man magical variety show himself, showcasing a wide variety of skills to his audience. His show is filled with comedy magic and some madcap juggling too. Most of all, The Great Kaplan is a master at conjuring surprising moments – we literally did not know what was about to happen next in each moment of the show and that made it all the more exciting. I was literally on the edge of my seat for most of the show.
The Great Kaplan’s skills elicited an assortment of reactions from his audience members – there were gasps of delight and astonishment, cries of “NO WAY!” and there was a point where I was almost crying with laughter. The Great Kaplan has a fantastic rapport with the audience, and an extra warmth toward the younger members of the audience which I thought was lovely. There were many family groups in attendance on the evening I went to the show and it sounded like everyone was having a wonderful time. The Great Kaplan had some classic one liners and moments of witty banter with audience members (especially his onstage helpers) and that added to the comedy aspect of the show. I’m hesitant to name my personal highlights of the show in case I spoil anything, however there are some magical transformations during the show that will leave you scratching your head and questioning everything!
This show is the perfect early evening show for families to enjoy together – The Great Kaplan is warm to his audience, hilarious and his magic is eye catching, exceptional and surprising in every way. Please see his show before he leaves town!
VERDICT: “The Great Kaplan” is that (great) but he’s also so much more: talented, surprising and incredibly magical. “The Great Kaplan”: a great choice for a fun evening of family entertainment.
*Disclaimer: I attended this show as a guest of the festival