“Illusionist Leon Etienne” Welcome to the Grand Illusion, Live at the Gracie Theatre

       Butcher, baker, candlestick maker, well…sort of. This guy does it all! Having been bid welcome to an evening of illusion, magic, and fast talking cheerful comedic revelry, this night was showered with the theatre of the fantastic. All this and a deck of cards (well…a lot of cards).

       Attending this wonderous arena turned up an art class with a twist (more like a whirlwind). If you did volunteer, you’d do well to watch your footing, especially if you see “Leon Etienne” reach for a drawing pad and begin to sketch a bowling ball ’cause you never know (or now we do) when one will drop out of this flat paper pad (and it did!). We witnessed two-dimensional art (on that same amazing pad!) transform into a 3D motion picture (literally) before our very eyes as a drawing of a plain playing card exposed its friend from its hiding place right behind it! I can’t stop with the exclamation points because they belong here! (There I go again!). Cards, cards, and more cards! By the way I caught one in mid-air which is a magic act all its own.

       Mind over magic wowed the crowd as the hand is quicker than the eye. American currency not being exempt from the prop gallery becomes a scrambled one piece jigsaw puzzle from a few mere folds and with a few additional folds, turns back into usable currency without needing to be pardoned by any special agencies who may be watching.

       By the way, I knew they were making mobile phones smaller and thinner, but when did they make them so they could be folded up inside an envelope into a small tiny square? I suppose “Leon Etienne” has the only one that does. And for the grand illusion, the evenings’ finale, “Leon Etienne” will attempt escape from an official straight jacket just as Harry Houdini did in his day. A pull, a tug, a twist, and maintaining comic relief throughout this escape from the canvas catastrophe, he is free to take his bow. A wonderful night of imaginative fun! And through the audience’s applause I thought I heard one faint voice cheering bravo! Harry…is that you?