“Good evening you old babies,” Kidd said.
This comment roused some chuckles from the audience and was only the beginning of an interactive evening of “oohs,” “ahhs,” and more laughter. Kidd, who is based out of London, is a world-renowned illusionist who has been featured on many different television shows such as the Discovery Channel’s Breaking Magic, BBC’s Now You See It, and the CW’s Masters of Illusion.
Liberty Magic, which is a project of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, opened its doors this February and has been welcoming magicians to town since. Kidd made the trip from London to Pittsburgh to perform at Liberty Magic’s show, Bridging the Gap. In the 70 minutes Kidd spent on stage, she performs traditional magic such as card tricks but also dabbles in mind-reading and other complex forms of magic.
Watching Billy Kidd is like watching a one-woman play, a stand-up comedy show, and a magic show all in one. Before pursuing magic, Kidd spent most of her life immersed in acting, theater, and dance, making her stage presence and comfort in front of an audience unquestionable. Kidd cracked jokes at every opportunity, helping to intrigue the audience with not just magic, but her comedic chops as well.
The very first trick Kidd performed kicked off the evening off with a bang -literally. Kidd blew up a balloon, one that clearly did not have anything inside it, and then promptly popped it with a needle to reveal a half-full bottle of red wine in her hand, right where the balloon was a split second prior.
Sticking close to her comedic style of performance, Kidd put on an embarrassed face and said, “Oh, this is gonna be for me for later ‘cause I’ve got issues,” rousing more laughter from the audience.
Not only did Kidd make the audience members laugh, but she brought many of them on stage to assist her with her magic. Just after her balloon-popping trick, Kidd announced to the crowd that for her next bit she would need help from a “good-looking, strong, sexy man,” after which she selected a gentleman sitting in the second row of the theater. Once he was on stage, Kidd asked, “Now, could you please help me find a good-looking, strong, sexy man?”
After cracking this joke, Kidd performed some card tricks and lead into more interactive tricks, including one where she took a guest’s jacket, stabbed a hole in it with a knife, and then returned it to him completely unscathed.
Bridging the Gap is certainly entertaining and well worth the ticket price. For magic fans and newcomers to the art of magic, Liberty Magic offers a 1920’s speakeasy atmosphere reminiscent to magic venues of L.A. and Vegas. V.I.P tickets allow guests access to an intimate meeting with the magician, and less than 20 other guests. This also offers a Q&A session and a small performance.
Billy Kidd at Liberty Magic. Continues through June 23. 811 Liberty Ave., Downtown. Tickets start at $40. trustarts.org