by Brenna O’Leary ’20 A&E Staff
“I dated a witch once” was one of the many highlights of Fabian the Magician’s spectacular event. McPhail’s was buzzing with laughter and magic this past Friday, February 7. The show created wonder and awe in the lively atmosphere of McPhail’s, making Fabian the Magician a complete success. From conjuring shots of whiskey to delivering heartfelt commentary on his own illusions, Fabian created an evening of disbelief and fun.
Fabian’s set started at 8 p.m. and provided an hour of magic; he magically altered napkins and teleported dollar bills into other people’s wallets. His magic consisted of disappearing and reappearing acts, as well as a little voodoo and mind reading. But what truly wowed the spectators was Fabian’s forte for storytelling, and his ability to pull students into the magic alongside him.
One of the Providence College student participant Karl Reidel ’20 admitted, “I was absolutely flabbergasted. I truly was shocked at the fact that the magic worked on me.” Reidel had even felt prepared, having seen Fabian perform at PC before, and was convinced he knew what to expect. Overall, Reidel said it was “a night of surprises.”
On his website, Fabian has been described as “The Perfect Act for any Liberal Arts Venue,” and he perfectly exemplified this in his set. Fabian was thrilled to be back at PC, and shared his affinity for the liberal arts. “Providence was really the first school that kicked off the university string of touring for the year. I was a liberal arts major. I loved film media but I decided on literature.” Fabian was really excited to start here at PC and will be making his way across the country through April.
But Fabian’s stories made the night truly magical. Fabian’s storytelling only made the audience love him more and fall deeper into his magic. Fabian chatted with members of the audience, bringing them into the act to make it more enthralling, but also to prove that he had nothing to hide: the magic spoke for itself. “This is just an example of what didn’t happen,” he said to his audience. The trick was an illusion, and it was important because “the idea is just what we can make it.” It could be whatever we thought possible.
The event was sponsored by the Board of Programmers, and Kevin Schwalm ’21 was sincerely pleased with the huge turnout. Schwalm related that Fabian “came to campus three or four years ago and we wanted to bring him back last year. We ended up having like 170 people show up, so we thought because it was so successful last year, it would be great to bring him back.” BOP provided cupcakes from LaSalle and encouraged guests to take advantage of the bar. Having filled almost all 100 of the chairs set out plus standing room, McPhail’s was alive with magic and storytelling.
Introduced as the “Mumford and Sons of magic,” Fabian the Magician has a wide array of sponsors, and his magic has introduced him to figures such as John Mayer and Bradley Cooper. It has taken him to new places, and PC was lucky to have him.
For Fabian, magic means a lot, but people are a huge part of it; “When I got into the market, I noticed there were a lot of magicians who were just doing trick after trick…I was more about substance…so I like to combine stories with the magic to kind of frame it around that, that way it’s more of an experience and a conversation as opposed to a show.” This focus on storytelling elevates Fabian’s magic to a personal level, making for a memorable experience.