Sunday, March 08, 2009

Frigid 2009: Now and at the Hour

"Do you ever have the feeling that everything that is happening has happened before and will happen again?" To this question, posed by the affable Christian Cagigal, the answer can only be yes, particularly when it comes to "mental" magic tricks. And no, it's not deja vu: if you see a lot of theater, you've probably seen some of these tricks before.

And yet, thanks to his casual showmanship--the deliberate placement of objects, the metronomic pacing of his transitions and tricks, his roll-with-the-punches attitude--we're able to humor him. And, in doing so, we're able to humor ourselves, especially if one stops trying to tear down the wizard's curtain, appreciating the illusions as an extension of our imagination. What's especially nice about Cagigal's performance is that the flair isn't squandered on razzle-dazzle effects; instead, it builds a strong narrative (involving Cagigal's memories of his sick, war-veteran father), one which nicely resolves itself in a metatrick that ties together all the talk of time travel and strange childhoods.

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