"Magic Trick"

Caps Lock Theatre Company August 27-September 12, 2015

Theatre Row Studio Theater

Written by Mariah MacCarthy

Directed by Christina Roussos

Choreographed by Sidney Erik Wright

with Chet Siegel, Kim Gainer, and Ethan Houva

Photos by Kacey Stamats

“At Theater Row, an audacious and engaging work, Magic Trick, is being presented by Caps Lock Theatre Company...Clara, played with laser-sharp sexiness by Kim Gainer, convinces Bana to try burlesque dancing.  The pair create “The Medicine Show”, dubbing themselves Foxy Cotton and Clara Tin.  The result is an energetic, bawdy, and amusing dance number that elicits a rousing cheer from the audience.  Siegel and Gainer are a perfect combination and their chemistry-both in this number and throughout the play-is erotic and endearing...Magic Trick is impressive, thoughtful, and worthwhile theatre.”  Manhattan Digest

Magic Trick has a lot going for it: sexy burlesque numbers, a unique fast-forward and rewound timeline, pasties with tassels, a strong female character in a wheelchair, and great comedic timing to balance the real emotions with the hilarious moments...There is indeed nudity in this production.  As they mention in the show, “Naked girls help with everything.”  There is a side-splitting boylesque number as well.”  Theatre Is Easy

Magic Trick is seductively captivating and lustfully invigorating.  In the world of burlesque, the movement is how the dancer pulls their prey into their seductive trap.  Whether it’s big or subtle, maintaining control over the audience is key.  It’s a brilliant parallel for Bana.  Bana seems to master the art of manipulation.  She has complete and utter control over Eric and Clara.  No matter what she does, these two individuals want her.  They cannot function without her.  MacCarthy creates a character in Bana that just happens to be paraplegic.  She does not use it as a device.  She makes it part of the character.  While an easy choice could have been to comment on it, MacCarthy strays away allowing the audience to see the character and not the wheelchair...When you combine great writing with expert direction and an incredible cast, it’s magical.  Magic Trick had just that.”  Theatre in the Now

“...the sheer presence of the wheelchair colors our interpretation of what’s not being said or shown on stage.  All this detailed rendering of character is occasionally distracted by the physical blocking of the play, which often requires Bana to (for example) leave her chair to pull herself into bed or (within the context of the burlesque numbers) physically lift one leg up and prop it on the other to remove articles of clothing.  The distraction is intentional, in that it focuses on the effort required, the extra amount of time, the sheer difficulty of living with Bana’s disability...her actions ultimately cause her to, at the end of the play, find herself alone.  Well, actually, she’s in a swan suit.  Performing burlesque.  But solo this time, no partner in crime or passion, no one on stage but her.  And maybe that’s just the way she’s wanted it the whole time.”  Culturebot

“I loved the glitz and glitter and sometimes painful campiness in the burlesque in the burlesque numbers because they’re so ridiculous and gimmicky and that’s beautiful because that’s exactly what burlesque is to me.  It’s this sexy stripping while wearing a robot costume and it’s great.  Like, there has to be this sense of humor and play and fun, but also here’s a little skin....There were probably about four or five burlesque performances done (with choreography by SIDNEY ERIK WRIGHT) and some of them I think really understood where the characters were in their abilities.  There was a bit of a fun catharsis with Eric’s burlesque, surprise Boy-lesque number.  Starting with Bana, I could really see skill develop, and I got a really clear sense of when she started and what she’d learned.  But it seemed with Eric that he was pretty bad at it and it was wonderful and there was that wonderful moment of him removing his pants and how awkward that is.  There is a final dance to this piece, that is sort of in this magic realm, that I think was really well done, and it came off as choreography that Bana developed.  I think that that particular scene, starting off with her first lesson, going to the duet, and then her solo, that’s a great arc.  And I think the choreography really spoke well of that.  I loved the number, I loved watching her grow as a performer culminating in that number’s performance.  It was wonderful, I loved that."  Obstructed View podcast