Entertainment » Theatre

Now And At The Hour

by Marvin Candle
Monday Jun 8, 2009
Now and at the Hour by Christian Cagigal. A journey through Time and Reflection.
Now and at the Hour by Christian Cagigal. A journey through Time and Reflection.  (Source:EXIT Theatre)

Admittedly, the word 'magician' is loaded; it brings to mind Gob Bluth from Arrested Development, or guys in top hats doing tricks (sorry, illusions) at children's parties. Of course, a stereotype and a real performance are two different things, and what Christian Cagigal does in his hour long show, Now and at The Hour, shatters those common illusions of magicians.

The intimate Exit Stage Left is an excellent space for the type of show Cagigal brought to his hometown of San Francisco (after an out of town tryout in New York). His illusions are exquisitely done right in full view of the audience; while the skeptic certainly knows there has to be some kind of trick to everything, most of the time what he does is simply indistinguishable from magic.

It becomes clear with hints and snips of his life, this show is not only about magic; there is an amazing amount of heart laced throughout. Cagigal frequently talks about how he became a magician, how his father, a disabled Vietnam veteran, pushed him towards the mysterious; and on his bad days, pushed him into isolation - leaving young Cagigal alone with his cards. This frames the evening, along with the idea of a cyclical timeline, "all this has happened before." His illusions all have something to do with time, and his honest discussions about his young life betray a man who does want to revisit those days. It is a truly special experience.

Additionally, Cagigal's image is not of the uberconfident wizard, either. The person who enters at the start of the show, bringing in his supplies - including a pretty nice carpet - gives the impression of one who is slightly bumbling, subtle, and incredibly well meaning. This is both a blessing and a curse; his subtle and sometimes soft spoken nature doesn't seem to command at times, but at others catches the crowd off guard with confidence. It isn't completely successful, but is a minor problem in an otherwise excellent evening.

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Now and at the Hour is playing at the EXIT Stage Friday and Saturday 8pm June 5 - August 15 ( No Shows July 3 & 4)

candle (dot) edge (at) gmail (dot) com


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