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Magic Holiday 

Wednesday, Dec 24 2008

There are two types of magicians: those who can sell a good trick to a willing audience, and those who can hold a crowd in giddy awe. The Marsh's intimate, family-friendly Magic Holiday offers a little of each. The one-hour show opens with David Hirata, an affable showman who does the tricks you might expect, and does them very well — optical illusions with metal rings, disappearing-ball tricks, self-tying handkerchiefs, that sort of thing. Then he hands over the stage to Kim Silverman, a grand old wizard who looks a bit like the Dumbledore of Haight Street. With Silverman in control, Magic Holiday shifts from amusing to amazing. He pulls off a card trick — yes, a card trick — so mind-bendingly good that you're likely to stay up an extra hour trying to figure out how the hell he did it before resigning yourself to the existence of occult powers. Silverman does what great magicians ought to do: He reduces cynical adults to a state of holiday-appropriate wonder. (Note: Juggler Stefan Fisher will stand in for Silverman on December 27 and 28; all three performers appear together on December 29.)

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Chris Jensen


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