Playwright Rinne Groff's poignant and often beguiling drama depicts the complex parallels between love and magic, equating the irrationality of romantic love with the trickery and misdirection of a magician. Handsome, professional magician Great (Brett Schneider) dazzles crowds with his amazing card tricks, but in his private life, he's a faithless manipulator with a history of breaking the hearts of his various stage assistants, who happen to be his lovers as well. When Great has a one night stand with beautiful waitress Trilby (Elizabeth V. Newman), she wants to become his new assistant and permanent lover. Complications ensue when Great's former lover (and former on-stage assistant), Egypt (Martina Lotun), shows up again in Great's life, bent on revenge and trying to learn the secret to a legendary hypnosis-levitation trick. Although director Talya Klein's production is hampered by some pacing problems and patches of inert dialogue, the show teems liberally with magic tricks, which are nicely integrated within the story — keep an eye out for an amazing bit of throwaway shtick involving a floating water glass. Schneider is a charismatic and appealing performer, impressive as both an actor and a magician; he perfectly captures the surface warmth of a man whose inner self is vacant and needy. Newman's scruffy, but innocent Trilby is touchingly contrasted with Lotun's glamorous but soulless Egypt.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Feb. 28. Continues through April 5, 2008

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.