Ricky Jay & His 52 Assistants

Ricky Jay & His 52 Assistants

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  • Model: abk69741500
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Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants

One-Hundred and fifty seats per show were sold out for the two-week-straight-one-manned show, Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants. The show was aired on HBO more than once. Jay admits that it is meant to be seen live. Directed by friend David Mamet and written and produced by himself, the show was a critical and popular success, receiving the Lucille Lortel and Obie awards. Not only that, but it broke a record as the fastest selling off-Broadway. The theater advises that the show may not be appropriate for anyone under 17. This has nothing to do with content. Jay insists on the seriousness "Magic", he says, "has been thrown away as just something for kids. If the curtains opened up and there were 20 kids in the audience, I couldn't do the show."

The curtains did open and the audience immediately starts clapping for well-dressed magician with his sleeves rolled up and nothing else with him but a deck of cards. Jay wears the jacket of his suit rolled up to the elbows in the style that was briefly popular in the more dubious discotheques of the 1980s. The set like a gaming-room office with two shelves on each side covered with old magic memoir, two doors in the back between them, and an elegant table in the middle with medieval chairs.

Jay walks up, spreads his cards on the table and introduces you to his 52 Assistants. "Notice the contrasts of style and character. They range from ingratiating simplicity to regal splendor. Some are passive and innerved, others brazing and belligerent. Some suicidal just like you and me."His genius, wisdom, and education are the first thing that show. Telling a story behind each effect, Ricky releases the history, bringing you with him. Even when he messes up, like we all do, he turns it into comedy.

After showing the same effect three times; producing four queens, he moves on to an ancient poem by William Henly. "Boos and the Blowings cop the lot." Ricky describes no matter if you cheat, con, swindle, or work, women and wine take it all. This was the introduction to his gambling lecture.

Not only could he cut the cards to all four aces, but he showed how to second deal, bottom deal, and even dealing out of the middle of the deck. He even dealt himself a full hand of Gin-Rummy. The first record of dealing out of the middle of the deck was in 1933 by a man named Alan Kennedy. Charlie Miller and Canadian Magician Dai Vernon packed their cards and went to Wichita. Ricky spent over two decades with these men in his former years learning the art of deception. They died a few years ago. Miller was 80 and Vernon was 98. You can see pictures of them on the bookcase of the fin-de-siecle gaming room that servers the show's sole set.

His next little comedy trick shows that not all him magic is serious. He has a volunteer select a card and sign it. After bringing out some mechanical animals to find it, it finally appears in the middle of a deck in an unopened pack of blue cards. He performed tricks likeEverywhere and Nowhere, found in some of Jean Hugard's books whereas the selected card appears in a wine glass. A carte de visite featuring a picture of illusionist Johann Nepmuk Hofzinser is used in this effect. Then he uses Max Malini's idea of having more than one card selected. He has eleven or twelve cards selected and finds all of them in a different way that is close to impossible.

The next part of his show is for show-off purposes, throwing cards. He through a card up in the air, and upon it's return, cut it neatly in half with a giant pair of scissors. But that wasn't the hard part. He killed some plastic drummers and a rubber ducky, then set off for the watermelon. The 'rich red' inner layer was no problem, but the 'appie-dermatis outer melon layer' took some work. After five or so shots, he threw a card into the hard outer layer of the green watermelon.His last effect was the cups and balls. Going back to the first trick in the book, he describes three different versions and even uses Bosco's routine, Charlie's Miller's version, and the original routine fromHocus Pocus Jr.

You can't deny his skill and knowledge. After all, he can beat you in poker, change your card's identity, and even throw a card in a watermelon. This off-Broadway special would have my vote as a perfect 10.

PLEASE NOTE: This item is a digital download ,Gimmick not included

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