When my son asked for a magic-themed birthday party, I knew exactly who I wanted to hire. Mario “the Maker Magician” Marchese has been a Westchester staple for years now, astounding and delighting kids with his energetic antics and charismatic showmanship at private parties and public venues. He was a hit at my daughter’s party a few years ago … but since then he’s appeared on Sesame Street, entertained the likes of Robert De Niro’s grandchildren, and joined forces with David Blaine. Would he even be available anymore?
Luckily, he was. We snagged him just before he set out on his summer-long, cross-country tour, and his show is just as fresh now as it was three years ago. The shouts and laughter were deafening as Mario blew quarters out of his nose, dealt with out-of-control rubber balls that kept reappearing, and scolded his wayward robotic lamp for deviating from the act. Mario builds many of his own mechanical props, so there’s an inventive STEM element to his performance, and the way he commits to his hyper yet hapless character keeps the kids roaring. It’s this combination of slapstick, science and sleight of hand that makes his act so memorable and special.
You can hire Mario by contacting his lovely assistant Katie (also his wife and manager extraordinaire) through their website, although the couple and their two young kids will be hitting the road this summer to perform out West and down South, so they’ll be busy for a couple of months. They leave right after their June 30 performance at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz.
The next best thing to having Mario at your party, though, is catching him on his YouTube channel, where he chronicles his magical adventures and offers DIY magic lessons geared toward kids. You can also follow him on Facebook and Instagram.
The latest development in Mario’s career is that he’s joined the creative team behind David Blaine’s first-ever North American tour. The big leagues! I couldn’t be happier for this hardworking, genuinely talented, and all-around great guy. This is someone who was born to be a magician, and there’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll one day have his own show on TV or in Vegas … and we’ll marvel at how once we got to see Mario perform in our living room.