Magicorthodoxy has broken open Kayfabe, the 4-DVD set from Max Maven and Luis DeMatos, and likes what he sees. Three of the discs offer magic: one for stage mentalism and two for card tricks, while the fourth DVD hosts an audio file of Max reading an essay he wrote about why magic is essential to life as well as a documentary called “A Fabulous Monster.” Each DVD also includes an interview with Max on a different topic, such as Max’s career outside of magic or his early life. The overall production value is quite high and lovely – no half-measures here.

So is Kayfabe worth its $153 price tag? Well, that depends largely on what you want to get out of it. If you’re looking for your money’s worth in secrets, you may be disappointed,  says Magicorthodoxy. The set may be better for anyone looking for inspiration, for insight into the history of magic, or new ways to think about the craft. And if you’re a Max Maven fan in particular, it’s a must-have for your collection. 

Buy Kayfabe from Amazon ($153)

Max Maven is easily one of the most prolific and influential mentalists in modern magic history, and an upcoming DVD box set will let viewers in on some of his longest-held secrets.

The set is called Kayfabe, a word that loosely translates to ‘secrets’ or, as used in other professions, the staging of fabricated events or actions that are treated as honest or genuine. It’s a four-disc set produced by the Essential Magic Collection with over nine hours of some of Max Maven’s most memorable routines, complete with presentations on method, staging, and performance.

Sample tricks include:

SPY STORY, in which a spectator joins you in an adventure in espionage as a location, time, an amount of money and a shape are chosen. All four have been predicted in the mission instructions given to your spy. You’ll love the finesse that Max brings to this item.
RORRIM is a stunning coincidence effect, a stage routine in which you become the spectator’s doppelganger. Under test conditions, he chooses two cards and places each in one of his pockets. Despite the utter freedom of the procedure, you reveal not only the cards but also which pockets he placed them in.
ABOUT FACE is an applause-pulling psychometry routine in which you correctly guess which spectators made which drawings. A direct method, entertaining premise and smart staging have made it a strong item in Max’s repertoire for many years.   

Also included are interviews with Max Maven himself, as well as Fabulous Monster, a documentary about the storied life and career of the mentalist. The set also features subtitles in English, French, Spanish, and Japanese.

Kayfabe is currently available for pre-order on the Essential Magic Collection website for €125 with a worldwide release of November 24. It’s also available for pre-order on Penguin MagicVanishing Inc., and wherever else magic products are sold for $150.

As the nights grow longer and the weather grows colder, there’s a good chance you’re going to find yourself tucked inside this weekend. Why not kill an afternoon watching The Art of Magic, a two-and-a-half-hour documentary that originally aired on PBS? It covers a lot of ground exploring the history of magic, from its roots in folklore, through ancient Greek and Roman society, and up to the magic of the 19th and 20th centuries. It’s filled with loads of great info, as well as interviews with and performances by Max Maven, Jeff McBride, the late Eugene Burger, and many, many more. You’ll find it embedded above in its entirety, courtesy of Merovingian’s Magic Shop