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Devil's in the Details - Literally 

Wednesday, Jan 5 2011
Most magic acts consider the audience witness rather than participant. Sure, we really don’t want the modern-day Houdini to drown inside that locked trunk that was just thrown off the pier, and we truly hope the beautiful assistant who just got sawed in two gets made whole again. But the tension is empathetic rather than personal. We squirm because we don’t want to see a gory or painful death, not because we’re under imminent threat. Christian Cagigal, on the other hand, says his aim is to “slightly, lovingly creep out the audience – to put them in the middle of the magic, rather than showing them something.” How does he do this? He tells stories, subtly working in themes and illustrating points by way of magic tricks. Only he recruits people to be part of the tricks, gradually establishing their personal stake in the outcome. In previous shows, for example, he used a stereoscope that may or may not have been able to read people’s memories. By placing responsibility on the object rather than himself, he ups the creep factor. “It can be disconcerting when the box knows something about you,” Cagigal says. His current show, Obscura: A Magic Show, centers on three big decisions that attendees help him re-create. Did we mention the decisions involve deals with the devil? Although Cagigal won’t give away the ending, he says the final scenario involves “a friendly game of poker.” How’s your game face?
Fridays, Saturdays. Starts: Jan. 21. Continues through April 16, 2011

About The Author

Keith Bowers


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