Monday, April 14, 2014

Quicker Than The Eye

Oh sure, on the posters and billboards he looks all serious and intense like, but in person doesn't master illusionist Jan Rouven come off more like a German Dana Carvey? Then again his show Illusions at the Riviera starts off with black-clad dancers and a techno this going to be "Sprockets" if it had been a magic show? Not to worry, they're just marching to an Adele tune to welcome Rouven to the stage. He turns out to be personable and funny as well as capable of figuring out numerous ways to get himself in and out of small boxes, the key to many of his Illusions. In addition to death-defying stunts involving blades and saws, he makes lightning-fast escapes out of chains and a water tank, brings up audience members to assist with tricks in various amusing ways, and has a bit of business in one perplexing feat of legerdemain that suggests he's seen The Prestige (no spoiler alerts). He also re-creates the baffling "origami box" trick, a gift from his idols Siegfried and Roy, quipping "I still don't know how they did that one." One awkward moment in Saturday night's show when stagehands were unable for a moment to lower a box they'd raised to the rafters. "It's an old theater," Rouven explained to the waiting audience. In the end it all ended happily, with magic and dancing and an audience on its feet.

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