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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Penn and Teller at Spirit Mountain Casino

The quirky Vegas magicians Penn and Teller brought their totally wacky show to Spirit Mountain Saturday night It was equal parts Big Magic, comedy, and Teller's masterful sleight-of-hand magic. The opening trick had an audience member's cellphone appear inside a sealed box, which would be impressive enough, but inside the box was a fish, and the phone was inside the fish.  They dubbed the trick "cell-fish" and promised that the audience member's camera will have caught the secret of the trick.

The duo also performed their famous American Flag trick in which a flag appears to be burned, and reappears on its pole, a bit that was once telecast on an episode of "The West Wing" Another stand-out was a deliberately failed card-trick that meant Teller could not not be released from a giant tank of water.

Penn and Teller put on a fantastic show, and as always, Spirit Mountain is a delightful venue. It is exceptionally wheelchair-friendly, if you haven't been, you must go.  

Saturday, November 8, 2014

"The Paino Lesson" @ Portland Playhouse

I am honored to add my voice to the chorus of praise for Portland Playhouse's latest August Wilson production, "The Piano Lesson". It is truly amazing how much this comparatively very small theatre can do with Wilson's sweeping works. In fact, it was their first Wilson production, "Radio Golf" that made me face the prospect of being lugged-up their stairs once again, only to find that they had installed a ramp.  "The Piano Lesson" is story about overcoming the ghosts of the past, sometimes literally. My favorite moments were the musical interludes. The play won Wilson a second Pulitzer Prize, and tickets to Portland Playhouse's production are selling quickly. Get your tickets now, the show must close on Nov. 16.