Let us avoid the debate that often ends conversations between magicians. One cannot mention Penn & Teller without the fans of Penn or Teller entering into an instant squabble.
"Oh, Teller never talks, that makes him mysterious," one member of our craft may say.
"Yes, but Penn is so much taller," observes a detailed-oriented pal. "He can eat food off the heads of many if not most of his average audience member."
"Yes," responds the first magician, "However Teller does talk when he is not performing as the character."
"Okay," concedes the obsessive-compulsive performer. "But Penn remains tall no matter whether he is in character or not. In that way, he is far more consistent than the flighty Teller. You know what you get with Penn — a tall magician, juggler with glasses."
"Point well taken," the first magician says in resignation. "Still, he is mysterious. His silence makes him mysterious no matter what."
We are big fans of Penn and Teller. We like them both equally; just as a mother cat would feel about her kittens. They are special in their own ways.
One of Teller's specialness is literary. In fact, he would likely note that "specialness" is not a proper word — that is how literate he is. Nevertheless, he does more than make words go together in patterns generally accepted by those who decide what proper grammar is. He makes them go together in such a wonderful way. He has a gift for writing and we consider his gift to us. When you read his work, it is as if he is writing to tell you — no one else — something interesting.
He has written a new Off-Broadway play with Todd Robbins called Play Dead. Teller is also the director of the play and Todd Robbins performs.
The play begins its open-ended run on October 21, 2010 and the "official press opening" will be Wednesday, November 10th.
The advance sheets summarize the play thusly:
Teller and Todd Robbins invite Death out to play in PLAY DEAD, a new spirit-shaking Off-Broadway show that explores themes of death, darkness and deception. As the guide for the evening, Todd Robbins draws audiences into an unknown haunted world full of frightful surprises and diabolical laughter. Although very much a theatrical work, it is hardly a typical "play," but rather a dramatic, unnerving thriller – here and now in an "abandoned" theater, illuminated by a single ghostlight – in which audiences test their nerves and face their fears as they are surrounded by ethereal sights, sounds and even touches of the returning dead – all achieved by wry, suspenseful storytelling and uncanny stage illusions.
You can check the full article and prepare for what sounds like a humdinger of a show by visiting Broadway World.