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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Illusionists

The Illusionists
Playing at Keller Auditorium this week. Tonight was opening night in Portland and it was a great show. All us super-nerdy technologists know that there is no such thing as magic. Some magicians make use of special equipment to facilitate some tricks, and slight of hand accomplishes things that are apparently impossible, but a magicians stock in trade is misdirection: getting you to watch what he's showing you, while is other hand is busy stuffing the rabbit into the hat.

But there were some tricks performed this evening that I really have no idea how they were done. Oh, I can imagine all kinds of arcane methods, but dang, these guys were good. They did some things that were just flat out impossible.

The MC (the Trickster) was comedic tour-de-force. His stage persona was gay and he played it to the hilt. He was hilarious.

There were eight (or nine?) different magicians and each had a unique act. There was an escape artist who modeled himself after Houdini, though he forgoes the strait jacket and being wrapped in chains. But then he does this five nights a week, so I can forgive him for not really risking his life. Well, it was risky being hung by your ankles, upside down in a tank of water. I probably wouldn't have been able to pick the lock on the handcuffs in that situation.

There was a trick shot artist who did not perforate either of his lovely young assistants with his crossbow bolts, and a guy who managed to conceal about a hundred decks of cards in his clothes. I mean he was pulling cards out the air and throwing them away for the better part of, oh, I dunno, how long does it take to throw away a hundred decks of cards, a quarter deck at a time?

There was a mind reading act by Sherlock Holmes, and the scientist who put people together out of body parts. There was a guy dressed as, I dunno, a corpse? A death metal rocker? Is there such a thing as death metal? Kind of reminded me Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker. He was really good. His act was full of all kinds of bizarre and ridiculous stuff, designed to make you think he is an incompetent flake, and then something miraculous happens. How did this weirdo pull this off?

I'm missing at least one. If I remember I will update this.

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