Neil Patrick Harris apparently has a side job to supplement his Magic Castle work as President of the Academy of Magical Arts and a top-rate magician.
According to our sources, he is does some acting in local Los Angeles venues and some of the television stations that have network studios in the area.
In fact, his acting is apparently so good that he won an "Emmy" Award — that's like television's version of the Magic Castle's Magician of the Year prize. So, that's pretty impressive. Perhaps Mr. Harris is recalling the words of Jean Robert-Houdin who opined "a magician is merely an actor playing the part of a magician."
Nonetheless, it is always nice to have a hobby and we are happy Mr. Harris found a way to spend his time when not running the Magic Castle or performing for adoring fans.
Our uncle Paw-Paw Lawton often quipped things in full sentences about magic when he was sober. (Actually, he was our "uncle-in-law" and even then the "in-law" part was tenuous. His marriage to our great aunt Mary Hardy was annulled because of a previous and still valid marriage to the spirit of an androgynous silver miner who pre-deceased her own birth — but, that's another story). He often said "A magician is an actor playing the part of a magician." His quips were rarely original or even necessary but we imagine the great French conjuror must have found angelic delight in our relative's confirmation of his philosophy.
But our point was this: Mr. Harris will be directing a magic show called “Nothing to Hide” starring sleight-of-hand artists Derek DelGaudio and Helder Guimaraes in the beautiful Geffen Playhouse.
The Geffen Playhouse (named for Los Angeles favorite son David Playhouse) issued a press release warning attendees that “Nothing to Hide” will be different than a traditional magic show.
We read this a couple of ways. If they mean one of our typical magic shows we are relieved. We would have to imagine it will be much different than one of our shows. In fact, as we have testified under oath, we would never pay to see us perform and even if we did, we would demand our money back because we would either be working through the entire show or sitting in the seat waiting for the show to start. Either way, it would not be our idea of fun. Our idea of fun involves the delicious but rarely seen melange of slapstick and pre-revolutionary Russian literature interpreted by blindfolded marionette performers at Sea World. Unexpected splashing makes us giggle without regret.
On the other paw, Mr. Harris' new show sounds like our idea of fun sans bumping puppets, spit-takes and pratfalls. (We acknowledge the passing of the lead singer for the 1980's counter-culture acoustic disco house band, Bumping Puppets, Mary Knuckles).
He intends to "take the audience on an imaginary journey through a series of diverse and engaging vignettes brought to life solely from the words and hands of the two masterful magicians."
We know exactly what your thinking because we thought it too; but we checked and "vignettes" is not a dirty word or even the diminutive form of a dirty word.
Mr. Harris saw Mr. DelGaudio and Mr. Guimaraes perform at the Magic Castle and found it to be "one of the most amazing, confounding, and magical nights of my life.” He added: “I knew after seeing the reaction from Magic Castle guests and magicians alike that I needed to bring their show to a larger audience.”
We do not know why people in Los Angeles have such a hang-up on body size but we are delighted he thought heavy-set people should have a chance to see the act. That's good thinking on his part plus it shows he has a good soul and is caring. But it is statistically proven that heavy or, as Mr. Harris puts it, "larger" people eat more candy and popcorn when attending live shows. That is money in the bank for the theater for sure. He is a thinker.
The show will run from November 27th through January 6th.
You can read the Geffen Playhouse's press release here if you don't believe us.