Presenting an intimate evening of music, magic, and mischief, Actors Forum Theatre featured magicians Brandon Scott and Brian Joseph Ochab with their Presto Magic Café and Déjà Vu2 Feb. 15 through 17 as a fundraiser for the theatre’s “New Projects” program. The fun and festive evening showcased Scott and Ochab presenting amazing illusions, along with guest performances by actors and the band Saint Tone.
The production centered around “proprietors” Ochab and Scott engaging in a typical night at their tiny café, performing themselves, telling stories, listening to the band, auditioning acts, and dealing with the silly staff.
The glib Scott and the self-deprecating Ochab made an engaging team, blending their different personalities into a playful partnership. They worked well together, possessing fine timing and chemistry, as they just naturally seem to tell stories. As they bantered, they mixed in intriguing sleight-of-hand tricks employing playing cards and other items. The evening featured as much gentle laughter as exciting illusions.
Director Harry Evry kept the production energetic and moving around the intimate stage, especially with many of the tricks involving audience participation.
Other performers were weaved into proceedings, like the sexy but vulnerable house manager Malaika Millions, wisecracking waitress Bonnie Gordon, and Karen Knotts as silly Flash the Clown. Ventriloquist Christine Barger employed audience members as live dummies during one of her skits.
During breaks between tricks, the band Saint Tone performed some fine original rock songs that examined relationships and personalities.
The entertaining evening featured eclectic cabaret at its best.
Magic Tree Productions and Transmersive Media presented Deja Vu2 February 15 through 17 at the Actors Forum Theatre located at 10655 Magnolia Blvd. in North Hollywood as a fundraiser for the theatre.