Review: Spaced Out Magic with Lucas & Liz at Yellow Sign Theatre

TheatreBloom rating:

They’re zany in the brainy, and totally insaney! They’re the— well— the alien abductees of Area51 that Agent Coletta doesn’t want you to know about! That’s right, folks, Baltimore’s Artscape 2016 has been invaded— by aliens! Or at least— Lucas Gerace and Liz Christmas have been invaded by aliens— or maybe not— it’s all a bit wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey— and now have permanent alien technology vibrating inside of them! Produced by Yellow Sign Theatre at this year’s space-themed Artscape, Spaced Out Magic with Lucas & Liz, features a brand new loosely scripted show that wends the fantastical thrills of magician L. G. Gerace, Most Marvelous’ and his assistant Liz Christmas together with quirky characters that are fondly reminiscent of Warner Bros.’ Animaniacs. Co-conceived by Gerace, Christmas, and YST’s Artistic Director Craig Coletta, this out-of-this-world magic show might just have you believing that the truth is out there before all is said and done.

Liz Christmas (left) with Agent Coletta (center) holding a rare Reptilalien Life-Form incubated by Lucas (right) Amanda N. Gunther | TheatreBloom
Liz Christmas (left) with Agent Coletta (center) holding a rare Reptilalien Life-Form incubated by Lucas (right)

Concocting a cohesive narrative that both fits the Artscape theme and the personalities of the performers is no easy task, daunting but definitely doable in the capable hands of the creative minds of Gerace, Christmas, and Coletta. Flawlessly integrating a menagerie of magical tricks— including sleight of hand, card tricks, and proper illusions— is seemingly impossible, but the trio handles this task with glorious aplomb, making the show entertaining in addition to mesmerizing the audience with the polished magic for which Gerace is well-known.

Though the tricks are impressive— and even the cleverest of audience members will find themselves puzzling over exactly how certain elements of the show come together— the truly remarkable element of the performance is the detailed character work that befits each of the three performers. In keeping with this year’s Artscape Theme, Gerace’s character reads with a highly spastic and frenetic energy that simply won’t quit. Channeling and embodying the paranoia and nerves of your average American alien-abductee stereotype, Gerace dashes about the stage in a heightened state for the entire duration of the show; he’s exhausting just to watch! Maintaining that level of stamina for the show’s entirety while working it into carefully crafted jokes, quippy exchanges with Christmas and Coletta, and still successfully executing magic is certainly a stage presentation worthy of praise.

Coletta’s character— the easily agitated agent whose thinly veiled attempts to keep government secrets become a hatpin in the show’s humor— pays homage to a bundle of different television and science fiction tropes, the most recognizable being ‘Doctor Scratchansniff’ of The Animaniacs. The interplay that develops between Coletta and the two abductees is not unlike that of the good Doctor in his attempt to rehabilitate the Warner Brothers and Warner Sister, Dot, and reintroduce them to society. There is a great deal of physical comedy bits that come about in this fashion; the hilarious scene of note being the great thumb-cuff chase-about.

Christmas’ character is spunky to say the least. Bubbling with energy that matches Gerace’s in intensity if not delivery, Christmas becomes a background scene stealer. Assisting Gerace with a great many of his magical escapades, it’s her vividly animated facial expressions— especially when giving Coletta the slip or the pout— that have audiences’ watching her closely. With a nod to Dot Warner in her vocalization, Christmas masters the personality of her character with practiced ease. The show’s script comes together around the absurdly humorous lines that Gerace and Christmas share about their abduction experience, which is worked seamlessly into the execution of some half-dozen magic tricks, and the conspiracy theory nature of the show on the whole. There’s even current popular culture and political references to keep everyone in the audience focused on the worldly…or distracted from what’s really happening at Area51.

Agent Coletta (left) has been Vulcan Nerve-Pinched by Liz Christmas (center) and Lucas (right) as they attempt to translate the alienese messageAmanda N. Gunther | TheatreBloom
Agent Coletta (left) has been Vulcan Nerve-Pinched by Liz Christmas (center) and Lucas (right) as they attempt to translate the alienese message

Gerace and Christmas do an exceptional job of handling the magical elements of the performance, as is expected of an award-winning Charm City magician. Though particular details cannot be accessed at this time regarding the specific nature of the tricks— Agent Coletta has informed TheatreBloom that it’ highly classified information and since we don’t want to end up staring into the bright white light while everyone else dons their shades— it can be said that things involving sleight-of-hand are slickly executed and pristinely polished. Magic is most definitely in the air with these three kooks— well, two kooks and a quack— and the grand finale simply spectacular!

So boldly go where no Artscape people have gone before, the final frontier— space magic! Dare to step into the unknown and be amazed. This is one Artscape show that you won’t want to miss, but you’ll have to be quick to catch them! With just six performances (see the schedule below) you’ll need to hurry and snatch a seat before Agent Coletta has Lucas & Liz locked away permanently in Area51!

Spaced Out Magic with Lucas & Liz will run a total of 6 performances over the weekend of Baltimore’s Artscape 2016 at The Yellow Sign Theatre— 1726 N. Charles Street in the Station North Arts District of Baltimore, MD. Performance Dates & Times are as follows:

Friday July 15, 2016— 9:00pm, with doors opening at 8:30pm

Friday July 15, 2016— 11:00pm, with doors opening at 10:30pm

Saturday July 16, 2016— 2:00pm & 4:00pm, with doors opening at 1:30pm and 3:30pm

Sunday July 17, 2016— 2:00pm & 4:00pm, with doors opening at 1:30pm and 3:30pm

For more information on the event, click here.

To read the article on how this whole thing got started, click here

To read up on L. G. Gerace, Most Marvelous’ most recent endeavors, click here.

To follow L. G. Gerace, click here.

To follow Liz Christmas, click here.

More information on the Yellow Sign Theatre can be found here.


One thought on “Review: Spaced Out Magic with Lucas & Liz at Yellow Sign Theatre”

  1. I am so excited for my son Lucas! I will be at artscape the largest art street fair in America! I will be seeing two of his shows in Sunday. He got a 5 star review! He is amazing!!!

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