Justin Willman's favorite compliment from a show attendee was that he's "a magician for people who don't like magicians." Not that the youthful-visaged entertainer is self-hating. Willman is a proud, card-disappearing member of the species Magicus Illusionus, yet he's also something more. Far from a rakishly mustached, ultra-dramatic showman executing grand spectacles in a billowy silk shirt, our man is a bright-eyed, fleet-footed, personable raconteur, surrounding himself in his live shows with other talented magicians, comedians and musicians, spinning a casual, whimsical atmosphere that's equal parts jokes, bits, stories, improvised crowd-work, guest sets and creative, unexplainable tricks from Willman himself. The funny conjurer takes his live act to spacious Club Nokia, where, unlike his regular sold-out variety shows at Hollywood's Meltdown Comics, this outing promises to be a solo affair. Entitled Justin Willman: Tricked Out
, and billed as "an intimate evening of prestidigitation, make-believe and excessive sleight of mouth," the host of the Food Network's Cupcake Wars
and Last Cake Standing
and a frequent guest on The View
and Rachael Ray
will make you laugh, gasp in awe and sigh with relief that there are no disappearing elephants or chained escape artist submerged in a transparent box of water. Club Nokia, 777 Chick Hearn Court, dwntwn.; Sat., Sept. 29, 8:30 p.m.; $15-$25; ticketmaster.com.
Sat., Sept. 29, 8:30 p.m., 2012