When you have the opportunity to see master magician Jeff McBride in action, you'll always want to take it. This is the case with his latest show, Jeff McBride: Magic At the Edge, which runs at the Palace Station Casino in Las Vegas.
No tigers, big boxes or Vegas-style dancers here. Just McBride and his unique brand of entertaining and mystical magic. There is no other show in Vegas, or anywhere else, that is like this one.
McBride's act is pure theater that ranges from his famous mask routine, which is his opener, to darker segments that deal with nightmares. I've always enjoyed McBride's water bowl routine (and have no idea how he does it) and for his stunning closer, he manipulates and throws cards like noone else on the planet.
Demonstrating his versatility and innovation, McBride performs a light segment, a fun, interactive Miser's Dream with a young audience member. You can see the look of wonder on the youngster's face. McBride's illumination routine features tiny lights that are plucked from a dancing cane and fan. This routine makes me feel as if I'm seeing magic for the first time. Helping McBride on stage are Jordan Wright and Melanie Kramer.
The Palace Station is off the Vegas strip and while there's little to distinguish the casino, its theater has been effectively transformed - dressed to present an entire different world. The dark, exotic set was influenced by Japanese Kabuki theater and as you wait for the show to begin, there’s new age, techno-style music that gets you into the mood. The theater is intimate if a bit tight. The lighting and sound are first rate.
McBride has a keen ability to appeal to both lay audiences and magicians. I initially thought that the show may be somewhat unapproachable to kids, but a youngster who sat in front of me, who I estimate to be about seven years of age, was thoroughly enjoying the experience the night I attended.
Deep down inside, even among the most jaded, there's a place that can experience wonder. Jeff McBride can take you there.