I am a sucker for a good magic show. And PLEASE SHUFFLE THE CARDS, part of the Cincinnati Fringe Festival this year, fits the bill. Erik Tait, presents an entertaining hour of card-magic, using some standard slight of hand – and some new tricks that are really hard to explain.
His very dry sense of humor is perfect for Fringe, but even amplified some of his banter with the audience – and the two volunteers he had on stage with him – was lost. The presentation is less flashy than what you would see in Vegas, but it is Fringe, after all. Luckily we do get to see his work live on a television behind him via a video camera pointed at his hands.
The show is precisely as advertised: “The show begins with the audience being invited to shuffle the deck of cards that Erik will perform with. A camera is turned on so that the miracles on the table can be seen by everyone in the theater. Please Shuffle The Cards explores magic’s relationship with skill and discovering how close one can come to telling people the secrets we are sworn to keep.”
The action moved swiftly during the performance and it was never boring. There are some unusual stories told about different theories in history and how those might impact the magic tricks on stage. Tait is likable enough, but also brooding enough to suggest the element of danger one wants in their magician. Or at least what *I* want in a magician.