It was the show that spawned Magic On Broadway and Mind Games -- and no doubt inspired hundreds of people across America to hurl playing cards at watermelons. The show was Ricky Jay And His 52 Assistants, a sold-out hit at NYC's Second Stage Theatre in 1994.
As reported by the New York Times and confirmed by the Richard Kornberg press office, Ricky Jay will bring his show back to the Second Stage, Jan. 14-March 29. He told the Times, "That New York run, directed by David Mamet, was the most exciting thing I'd ever done. I don't know if you can recreate experiences that were so terrific in your life, but I'm going to give it a try."
Those experiences included sleight-of-hand and mentalist feats, as well as his legendary ability to fling a playing card across the room and make it slice into the rind of a watermelon. Jay's books on the subject of unusual magic include "Cards As Weapons" and "Learned Pigs & Fireproof Women."
The 1997-98 season at Second Stage began with Two Pianos, Four Hands, still playing at the Promenade Theatre space in the same building. [For more information on that musical show, see the news story, "Two Pianos Tickles Off-B'way Ivories, Oct. 30."] The American premiere of Martin Sherman's A Madhouse In Goa played in October/November at the Second Stage. Announced for later in the season is Bad Sex With Bud Kemp by Sandra Tsing Loh (March 1998). Slacker & yuppie alert -- it's a comedy about bad dates, bad restaurants and bad sex. Aliens In America was performed at Second Stage spring 1996. Loh a regular commentator on National Public Radio, recently did a solo show at the Mark Taper Forum titled Depth Becomes Her.
Second Stage shows are staged in the McGinn/Cazale Theatre above the Promenade Theatre on West 76th St. For subscription and ticket information on shows at the Second Stage Theatre, call (212) 787-8302.
-- By David Lefkowitz