Christian Cagigal achieves big things on a small scale. Compactly built, neatly groomed, and bookishly bespectacled, the San Franciscobased illusionist more closely resembles Harry Potter than he does Penn Jillette. Yet his far-flung grin and theatrical approach to even the most ungimmicky card tricks betray the heart of a true showman. The efficiency of his physical appearance also extends to his work, as his tricks often revolve around props that the average child can hold in the palm of one hand. In a recent TV appearance on KRON4, Cagigal entertained viewers with a miniature car built out of Lego bricks that was capable of reading minds; a matchbox with the ability to move about on its own; and a tinkling antique music box filled with wooden chips, whose manipulation by the magician toyed with everyday notions of free will. His latest escapade, Now and at the Hour (which transfers to New Yorks annual FRIGID Fest at the end of the month), features an enigmatic traveler showing off his magical wares. Armed with an assortment of esoteric items, the shadowy wizard blends magic, storytelling, mind reading, and theater to take the audience on a trip through memory and time.
Feb. 6-14, 8 p.m., 2009