During his six years of residency at Exit Theater, magician Christian Cagigal has become a subtle (by which we mean crafty, ingenious, and sly) local treasure. His illusions, which are rich but not mind-bending, owe their success to Cagigal’s wonderful ability to set tone, shape environment, and tell stories. “All magic takes place in one place: your imagination,” says Cagigal in his show. Caveat aside, the man is tireless in his work. When not performing in the theater or at gatherings such as TEDx, Cagigal travels internationally, interviewing magicians, exploring old magic shops, and collecting histories of the macabre. Since his collaboration with H.P. Mendoza, director of Colma: The Musical, some of Cagigal’s more mesmerizing escapades have been caught on film. One is the “Little Doll, Dear,” which was set in the haunted Queen Anne Hotel (once Miss Mary Lake’s Finishing School for Girls) and involves an antique doll with human hair, a phantom touch, and a mysterious smudge that appears on victims’ palms. A documentary performance film is also in the offing, which assures Cagigal’s latest show, The Collection, will be darker and more thrilling than any. The 13-night run is shrouded in mystery — Cagigal only promises plenty of bystander involvement. You’ve been warned.
April 1-13, 2012