Adam Savage can be a noisy fellow when it comes to something he likes. One of those things is the magic show/one person show “In and Of Itself”. In it, Derek Delgaudio does six tricks in some 75 minutes wrapped together with some narrative work. The overall theme seemed like it was supposed to be something to do with identity and what we call things and ourselves but that felt thin. Importantly, that integument was unnecessary.
Most of his tricks were somewhat predictable in the sense that you knew what the trick was going to be well before it unfolded creating an attitude of “this guy is going to x” followed by a kind of madness when the guy did x. There’s a kind of boldness to “this is what I’m going to do now watch me do it”. The penultimate trick involved a memory or hidden communication trick that had me going “this guy is going to point at me and say a thing and I’m going to cry” and lo and behold, at the end of the trick he had pointed at me, said a thing, and there I was crying. This trick was quickly followed up by another where I think the audience collectively shit itself in amazement. I nearly leapt up yelling “WITCH!”.
My theater partner and I bolted for the train which we narrowly missed and then waited for 15 for the next. That was enough time to get a donut and a water and cool down from turbo walking a mile through the hot city. Over that walk the magic wore off a bit. The contract between the sublime construction of the magic tricks and the greasy real-ness of the city.
When we returned to my place, sirens were going off throughout the evening. My area loses a fair number of residents to drug abuse, about two a day by my math but recently there’d been a string of problematic overdoses where drugs had been spiked with something. Possibly fentanyl and possibly some sort of muscle relaxant. Earlier in the evening, I waved at Sarah Silverman who was also in the audience and now I’m listening to people clinging to life. It’s about as much juxtaposition as I can bear.