Magicians Laura London and Boris Wild are at The Magic Castle this week and are not to be missed. They both play the Close-Up Gallery (although not at the same time which is easier to understand because they both have beautiful accents, the subtlety and pure lilt of which would be missed if they were shouting over each other). Some of us old folks recall the close-up rooms of yesteryear’s’ conventions where there would be four or five close-up performers circulating among crowds to perform. The quiet performers were overwhelmed by the naturally loud and the naturally loud were even more unnaturally louder for fear they would be difficult to hear in the hallow expanse of the local gymnasium library.
Yet, digress we do.
Let us start with Laura London.
She is a daring woman who takes risks in front of crowds not seen since the days of Harry Houdini or any bullet catcher. We are not saying “darling” woman – although we are quite confident she is. We are saying “daring” woman.
Like the Honey Badger, she don’t care. By the way, there is allegedly a video on the YouTube showing a honey badger dealing thirds and middles from a volunteer’s deck. It don’t care. We haven’t seen it but can imagine it.
We had the distinct pleasure of sitting in the front of the newly refurbished and filled to the rafters Close-Up Gallery. Because of our vantage point, we could see some of the backstage work that goes into Ms. London’s act and it betrayed no secrets. We were so close to the action that we thought for sure we could see her work but because her performance is based on turn of the 20th century (the 1900s) card cheats, it made sense that even being close enough to worry about the expiration of our counterfeit breath strips, we saw nothing. Because of our almost passing understanding of how magic works – especially card magic and especially card magic with a Bee deck, we thought we would be able to pick up something. Pero, nada, siempre nada.
Ms. London is from England and has appeared on Penn & Teller’s Fool Us. She is calm, educational and mystifying. She reads wonderful excerpts from a diary of a female card sharp as she performs. Understand, she his performing very difficult card magic with both left and right hands; whilst reading a diary. We can do one of those things at once and it is only the diary part. Her Ace Location is something to see and puzzle over for days – we know.
Her effects were beautiful to watch for magicians and non-magicians alike. We cannot wait to see her perform again. We were hoping the show would last longer but, alas, like all good things, it needed to end so others could see how great a truly imaginative card performance could be.
We began our review with Ms. London under the theory that “Ladies First.” But also because she performs the first part of the evening and then comes Boris Wild.
We need to come clean about Mr. Wild. We have read his books, bought his tricks, performed with his decks on a regular basis and yet, truthfully, have almost no idea how he performed his magic. It is not as if we had an inkling. It is not like we would guess the Kentucky Derby has something to do with horses and betting. We know there were cards involved in some way but we don’t know nothing more than that. He used cards in ways we have not seen done as effectively.
We loved being fooled – almost all the time, or at least when watching magic shows at The Magic Castle. Mr. Wild fooled us with tricks we own or know of. Howsabout that, now?!
My great, great-grandfather (allegedly – it is tough to tell through Ouija communications) once said, “It is what you know that fools.” So true. We think.
His Kiss routine is a classic and we have seen it before and loved it. We still love it. It is emotional – and we are not afraid to say that – and it is beautiful. His effect before the Kiss routine is one we cannot describe without ruining it. So we won’t. If you have a chance to see his act this week, take it. Get in line every early so you can see Laura London – a rising star in our book (an Inner Circle Member to boot) who should have her own show in Vegas immediately. We need more women in magicians as magicians. We need more magicians who love card sharping and so she is the perfect combination.
Now after Laura’s last show of the evening, get in line for Boris Wild. We leave with a smile on your face and a renewed faith in our wonderful craft.
God bless Ms. London and Mr. Wild. This is a wonderful time to be alive.