Ghost & Spice Productions’ delightful change-of-page presentation of the magic show Joshua Lozoff: Beyond Belief, which continues through Sunday at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham, NC, is a completely interactive and royally entertaining evening of card tricks and sleight of hand, introduced by a hilarious video series of man-on-the-street interviews about magic and magicians and punctuated during the show by brief humorous interludes and stories about how Lozoff became a magician and how he learned some of the tricks that he performed so professionally. No wonder this show is SOLD OUT, except for a few house seats each performance that await five to ten early birds who arrive at the theater at 7 p.m. evenings and 2 p.m. matinees to claim first place on the waiting list for each performance.
Wearing what looked like a black tuxedo over an open-necked maroon shirt, with his shirttail out, professional actor-turned-magician Joshua Lozoff turned on the charisma and dazzled last Friday night’s audience with feats of prestidigitation with cards, coins, balls, and other items -- but nary a rabbit or a dove anywhere in sight. The tricks that Lozoff successfully performed, most often in conjunction with a member of the audience whom he summoned to the stage, would be ruined if described in too much detail. Suffice it to say that he put several new twists on the standard pick-a-card, any-card routine; and his ability to guess which card had been picked -- and make it appear wherever he wanted, at will -- is positively uncanny, and more fun than watching canned video of the magician walking through the Great Wall of China or making the Statue of Liberty disappear, a la David Copperfield.
Joshua Lozoff’s magic is close-up and personal. And he knows how to pick just the right volunteer for each trick. Thanks to a snappy video prologue, an overhead camera employed throughout the evening, and savvy but sometimes cheesy staging by his wife, Melissa, who looks good in a harem costume, Lozoff’s first foray into stage magic is a smashing success; and the Lozoffs will no doubt repeat this show at other Triangle venues. Despite a series of walk-on appearances by Melissa Lozoff and confederates -- all designed to leaven the proceedings with humor -- Joshua Lozoff kept his viewers sitting on the edge of their seats. Not only that, but he left them wanting more -- much more -- and prepared to show up hours early and stand in line to get it for another installment of the Joshua Lozoff: Beyond Belief experience.
Ghost & Spice Productions presents Joshua Lozoff: Beyond Belief Thursday-Friday, Feb. 15-16, at 8:15 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 17, at 8:15 and 10:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb. 18, at 3:15 p.m. in Manbites Dog Theater, 703 Foster St., Durham, North Carolina. $10 Wednesday-Thursday and $15 Friday-Sunday. (Note: All shows are SOLD OUT, but there is a waiting list. The theater opens at 7 p.m. for 8:15 shows and 2 p.m. for 3:15 shows, and Joshua Lozoff says 5-10 people on the waiting list have been getting in to see each show. For more information about the waiting list, visit http://www.manbitesdogtheater.org/121/.) Ghost & Spice Productions: http://www.ghostandspice.com/season/beyond.html [inactive 7/07]. Joshua Lozoff: http://deep-magic.com/. Beyond Belief: http://deep-magic.com/bb.htm [inactive 9/07]. Manbites Dog Theater: http://www.manbitesdogtheater.org/173/.