Ricky Jay, long regarded as one of the best card handlers in magic, is going to put his new show in the hands of his audience.
He was interviewed in The Boston Globe and The Portland Phoenix about his new show, “A Rogue’s Gallery: An Evening of Conversation and Performance.” As reported in the Globe, his show in the Somerville Theater will bring about a few firsts for the magic legend, including some improvisational elements:
The show marks a number of firsts for Jay — among them, serious audience participation and the introduction of materials from his personal collections (show bills of singing mice; posters of Houdini imitators; images of Jay’s grandfather, an amateur magician who introduced Jay to the craft). The way audience members interact with those materials will determine the direction of the performance.
In the Phoenix article, Jay talked about whether he feels like he and his close-up style compete with big stage illusionists:
“I like the fact that these shows are smaller and more personal, and I think that audiences — I hope that audiences — will appreciate the difference. Not that there’s a high technological aspect, but that there’s a direct relationship between the audience and the performer. And six-story-high dragons are not necessarily a part of that. No helicopter will land on the stage of the Somerville Theatre.”