Christian Cagigal Works His Darkest Magic Show Yet — But We Can't Tell You About It

When you watch Christian Cagigal's The Collection, at the Exit Theatre, you might find yourself experiencing some of the same thoughts you had watching magic shows as a kid: “Pick me! Oh wait, don't pick me!” “That's so cool! But it has to be fake! But I can't figure out how!”

All the same, The Collection is definitely an adult magic show — no, not that kind of “adult.” Cagigal uses magic in the service of storytelling, and the stories he tells come from his menagerie of bizarre found objects. His playing space has the feel of an artfully arranged and well-dusted attic. Tchotchkes poke out of cabinets and shelves in every corner of the black box theater. The boots and bells and skulls you see are not mere trinkets, however. Each has a dark, storied past. But like the magic tricks, you never know whether the stories are real or made-up. Rather than being straight nonfiction or complete fabrication, they are more likely somewhere in between: wisps of truth shaped and ornamented by an adept storyteller.

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