I'm a big Wayne Dobson fan. Great entertainer, and also a very creative mind when it comes to putting together entertaining, practical magic. Often his effects have a mentalism-slant, which is always a plus in my book. Once Upon a Time takes an absoultely incredible concept of Simon Aronson's and wraps it in a fun and easy presentation that elevates the Aronson effect beyond its already lofty heights.
Magician shows a folded sheet, that resembles a small booklet. He sets it on the table and then gives each of his spectators about half the deck of cards. The spectators each shuffle their cards, and then they cut any number of their cards to the table. Spectator One picks up Spectator Two's cut packet and shuffles it faceup into his remeaining facedown cards. Spectator Two also mixes the first spectator's cut-off packet faceup into her facedown cards. Each spectator again cuts off some cards, and they exchange these packets and shuffle them faceup/facedown into their pack. Finally, one of the spectators shuffles the entire deck faceup/facedown together, so we are left with a full deck of faceup and facedown cards. (Sounds complicated, but it is very straight-forward and quick in ractice, and no funny business during that process -- spectators are making free choices throughout.) Now the mystery begins: the small booklet is shown again. It says "Once Upon A Time" on the cover, and it is unfolded (one fold) to reveal more of the story: "There was a deck shuffled faceup and facedown by two people". Another unfold, revealing another fact: "The deck contained 23 faceup cards." The spectator counts through the cards, separating the faceup ones, and indeed, there are 23...exactly. Another unfold of the booklet: "14 of the faceup cards are red, and 9 are black" Spectator separates the reds and blacks and finds this to also be true. Another unfold, another revelation: "All the black cards are Spades". Spectator checks this and... oops! There is a Seven of Clubs among the Spades. Magi calls attention to very small print in the corner, that says "Except the..." Last unfold shows a large picture of the Seven of Clubs!
This routine absolutely floors laymen (and magicians). The underlying Aronson shuffling concept makes it all possible, and also makes it seem so IM-possible.
Well taught on DVD instructions, comes with the booklet prop. Use any deck of cards. (picture shows two booklets -- one folded and one unfolded to show climax card -- you receive just one booklet with this.)