My friend Greg’s “specialty act” is about as specialized as you can imagine. He performs comedy magic in a Mexican wrestling mask. So, when I walked into Jeff McBride’s Wonderground and saw a guy onstage in a Mexican wrestling mask performing comedy magic, I assumed it was Greg. Then I saw Greg in the crowd. Funny thing is, for Wonderground that barely qualifies as odd.
In one corner, fantastical body painter Suzanne Lugano transformed former porn actress Jenny Hendrix into a red, sharp-toothed, triple-eyed satanic demon. In another, wizard Oberon Zell-Ravenheart taught me how he bred unicorns in the 1980s.
But back to the stage show: The night’s biggest applause went to Ty Reveen, who, for the first time, performed his father’s memory act. The father, Peter “the Impossiblist” Reveen, was in attendance, too. After the performance, there was a ceremonial passing of the sparkly tuxedo. Ty’s daughter Morea, who recently moved to Las Vegas, is currently seeking work as a magician’s assistant. Any takers? Remember, she’s got it in her blood.
Before McBride closed out the show with his signature card act (in which he plucks a couple hundred playing cards from thin air … and then bounces them against the ground), world-record juggler Niels Duinker took the stage. He got into Guinness for juggling blindfolded, and his Wonderground performance was, for my money, even more impressive: He juggled five balls with a ceiling fan three feet above his head. Ask Penn Jillette: That’s not easy.