Our rule of thumb is to never visit the underworld of real-life gamblers and card cheats unless escorted by a former member of the Special Forces or professional stuntman / stuntwoman. But that is just us. We like to be protected at all times and some may consider us excessive because we refuse to kiss without an American-made dental dam. And if we are going to kiss another person, we require even more.
Fortunately for us, Steve Truglia is not only a great card magician but is also a former member of Special Forces and was a record-breaking stuntman. Even more fortunately for us, Mr. Truglia brings his outstanding show The Card Shark to the beautiful theatre at the Five Star Mayfair Hotel on Stratton Street in London from December 15, 2012 through March 22, 2013. He will guide us safely through the shadowy realm of card sharpies and crooked gamblers (or the politically correct designation “advantaged gamers”) throughout the ages.
Mr. Truglia has, in a word, skills. He can kill a man with a spork whilst crashing through a plate glass window and performing a one-hand false shuffle. (Actually, we don’t know if he can kill someone with a spork but it seems like if anyone could, it would be a Special Forces person or an employee of Kentucky Fried Chicken®).
Take a few seconds to check out some of Mr. Truglia’s incredible stunts over on the Wikipedia web site. Be sure to return to the rest of this article when you are done, though.
The award-winning magician / stuntman / elite soldier enlisted the assistance of none other than Joanie Spina as Artistic Director. We read her Directions column every month in Magic Magazine and dream of the day we can afford to have her direct our show so that we can be like her clients David Copperfield, Kevin James, Jason Byrne, Juliana Chen or even the producers of the Broadway Musical Ghost. (Actually if were Juliana Chen, we would likely vanish from view. We would never leave the house but spend hours staring vacantly into a mirror, watching our every move and smiling like a love-sick fan. Yes, one must be careful about what one wishes for.)
The Card Shark surveys sleight of hand and card manipulation from the Middle Ages, to the Wild West gambling halls and saloons and the high-stakes world of gangsters and mechanics. In a nod to this modern time, Mr. Truglia demonstrates his take on the classics of card magic, the difficult to learn and impossible to detect cheats and scams through an interactive presentation melding live action, close-up cameras, film and still images.
Mr. Truglia is a member of the prestigious Magic Circle and has used its vaunted library to research the history of our great art. He combines sleight of hand with the psychological operations training he received whilst a member of the UK Special Forces teaching how cheaters and conmen (and presumably “conwomen” (see image)) gain their mark’s confidence.
Be sure to check out www.thecardsharkshow.com for information and tickets. We hope to check out the show during our swing through the UK early next year and will report back with our review.