Thursday, January 04, 2007

Japanese Food, Card Tricks and a Movie Star Magician

Ricky Jay & His 52 Assistants

At the Geffen Playhouse in the intimate Audry Skirball Theater

The show started shortly after 8:00PM. Polly and I had enjoyed a delicious dinner of Japanese (Yakatori) Food at Nanbankan in Santa Monica. Later, as we walked from the parking lot, to the theater in Westwood; I enjoyed the last of my cigars. As the smoke slowly rose from my mouth I told her that I wanted to review the show for the blog and I wanted her to help me out. She agreed, then we made out like teenagers.

We were a bit early getting there, so I continued smoking my cigar and Polly enjoyed a glass of wine. I had seen the show a month ago with David Rudd from Seattle. Although I enjoyed the show, my head wasn't really in the right space to fully enjoy the experience. It was the night before we put Buster on a plane to Cincinnati and and said goodbye. I haven't heard from him since.

We played a little game in the lobby, "Spot the magic geek". Polly was better at the game than me, perhaps I was having trouble seeing the forest through the trees.

I like Ricky Jay and what he's done for magic. His expert card handling technique paired with an interesting lifetime study of Magic, Magicians, Hustlers, Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women makes for an interesting script and show.

He opened with a version of McDonalds Aces using queens. It's a great opener and gives the audience an opportunity early on to get to know Ricky Jay.

He gets a couple of spectators up on stage to help him. They are seated on either side of him at a card table. Ricky Jay then launches into a twenty minute gambling demonstration spanning, Gin Rummy, Poker, Black Jack and Three Card Monte.

The show was tight and there were only a few differences from seeing the show in November near the beginning of the run. He didn't do his signature card throwing demonstration this time.

He finished the first half with his tribute to Max Malini by performing his multiple card selections and revelations of a dozen cards.

What can I say. . . I liked the show. I feel very lucky to have seen the show twice during this run. I don't think I'm overstating it by saying that it was one of the hotter tickets in town selling out the six week run.

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