Presented by Keith Brown
Keith Brown is a charming fellow. Looking very dapper, he greets all of his guests as they enter the theatre. What you get with At The Table with Keith Brown is classic showmanship. And, of course, some quietly thrilling close-up magic.
Brown lets us know that this is his 38th Fringe Festival. So he’s a pro. Boasting? Maybe. Instilling confidence? Surely!
I go into magic shows with a certain sense of tension and guilt, so afraid I’m going to try to suss out the sleight of hand. His compelling demeanor puts any self-consiousness to rest almost immediately. Not only are his anecdotal asides and rapport with the audience pleasantly distracting, even if I wanted to figure it out, the mechanics behind the tricks are tucked firmly up his sleeve.
It’s standard fair—cards and elastics and things in bags. But we don’t go to magic shows just for the magic. We want to laugh, learn something, maybe even get a little wistful. Brown meets the demand with some background on an hugely influential Canadian magician (Dai Vernon), inspiring personal stories and ample wit.
His self-proclaimed strangest trick is, uh, hilariously creepy. It might have been my favourite. Not because it was particularly astonishing, but I’m a sucker for quirky, offbeat flourishes.
He puts on a really great show. One of the few that actually make full use of the ludicrously large gap between the front row and stage of the Al Green Theatre. A handful of audience members can sit directly in front of his table, but for everyone else, some projected video footage allows us into the intimate spectacle.