Atlanta Fringe Festival: Mysterium – A Magic Show

I just took a wild ride into “The Mysterium” with Keith Bourdreau and Erica Valen of Mysterium Productions as part of the Atlanta Fringe Festival. I’m not a huge magic aficionado but do I love a good show and, of course, a good magic show has less to do with the illusions and more to do with putting on a good show. Bourdreau and Valen’s charming, delightful, and fun production definitely made for a good show.

Bourdreau is a slight-of-hand magician and Valen is a mentalist. While they both know their tricks, I don’t see them playing the Magic Castle anytime soon. I won’t go terribly deep into the specifics of the tricks themselves — there are two more shows tomorrow and I don’t want to give anything away — but there’s nothing exceptionally novel and you’ve probably seen them in one form or another before if you’ve ever watched a magic show. However, they put on a show that does its best to share their personal joy in mystery and flame the audience members’ innate senses of wonder. Every smile and laugh that they elicit from the audience is sincerely earned and you can tell that they relish every ooh and ah not as affirmation that they’re good at what they do but, rather, as a symbol that they’ve been able to share some of their own sense of wonder and enjoyment. They come across as exactly the kind of people with whom I love going to science museums: people who know how to appreciate cleverness and learning about the unknown and, best of all, people who know how to infect everyone around them with their enthusiasm. In short, it was a wonderfully wonder-filled and perfectly fun show.

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