Elaborate cape-wielding illusions aren’t so much on the cards of this super-power group’s performance as comedic piss-takes on the trade and inducing that heartfelt sentiment that for one moment, one split second, the audience can leave behind its skepticism to invest in the innocent belief that magic exists.
Band of Magicians is a ‘boy band’ of sleight-of-hand masters brought together by Australian James Galea and comprising himself and three Americans who’ve been making waves in magic circles. Together, they’ve concocted an interactive performance that utilises Frisbees thrown into the crowd for random selection and wows and confounds without that air of overconfident cockiness and fireworks that often reads standard on stage.
Despite being a ‘band’, each magician performs his act solo; collaborating only in-between takes for more dynamic feats of deception, including the masterfully choreographed and exceptionally soundtracked poker game, and a whimsically beautiful exhibition of coin-transference.
First up is Justin Flom, Band’s pretty-boy/Nick Carter counterpart. His is less impossible more illusion, as he toys with spin wheels and levitating tables. It’s fun, however less impressive than his peers. Justin Willman is more engaging and cleverly entertaining. Calling on Siri to teach him a trick with cloth and banana, he allows the ‘bot to confuse banana with bandana and proceeds to fold the fruit ludicrously for us. Nate Staniforth is more traditional; reading minds and threading a swallowed needle and thread, but it’s Gallea who commands. When he enlists an audience member, the skeptical Fred, it’s as though he has predicted this match made in comical heaven (perhaps he has?) Despondent Fred relinquishes $50, hides his watch before Galea can make it vanish, and scrutinises the table as he bets bottom dollar on Galea’s version of the cup-and-ball – all amidst bales of audience laughter.
Three hours of live magic with four talented up-and-comers? It’s intriguing, befuddling, deceiving, entertaining, and hilarious. Absolutely hilarious.