Magician Bill Blagg didn’t make any tigers go missing at the Orpheum Theater on Friday night.
He also did not see a woman in two or pull a rabbit out of a hat.
However, he thoroughly enjoyed himself with the story of his attraction to magic and the work it took to become a headliner.
Accompanied by familiar music (including a tear-worthy “Forrest Gump” theme), the “Bill Blagg Live” show was like a TED talk from a magician, complete with illustrations.
Many – including a trick of the rope he said it took 25 years to perfect – were familiar, but they were packed with a heartwarming story about a great-grandfather he never knew and the support that ‘he brought her through letters.
Based in Wisconsin, Blagg was an award-winning magician at 18. He borrowed $ 25,000 to put on a show and found himself working 9 to 5 just to pay off the loan. Leaving passion behind, he rediscovers the magic during a vacation in Italy. Laced throughout its history: levitating tables, disappearing bottles, dancing handkerchiefs.
While a video screen was too small for most audiences to appreciate, Blagg had other props (like a magical stand made by his father) that helped convey his message of support.
“BBL”, in fact, sounded a lot like an autobiography. While a few other big tricks might have been cool, the ones he featured were impressive: he arrived in an empty glass box, levitated like he was in a hot air balloon, and vanished from the scene, only to appear only in the public.