Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed 11 June 2021
The stage is set with a grand piano, several magic props, mysterious lighting…..and a giant screen displaying the word ‘poof’, complete with two testicular looking ‘O’s in the middle. This perfectly sets the scene for magician James Galea’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival show, Poof! Secrets Of A Magician.
Poof! Secrets Of A Magician is a hour long cabaret combining Galea’s well rehearsed and presented magic, songs and humour. I’m sure the lines of fiction and nonfiction are blurred at times, but nonetheless, the show is an autobiographical look at Galea’s journey through the industry, from how he broke the news to his parents right through to the biggest magic screw up ever. What is it? It’s so far-fetched, you’ll have to witness it for yourself. He also delves into the long-time question: are all magicians gay? Galea talks openly about his homosexuality and how there is a common misconception in the industry that all magicians end up going home with the female assistants. Of course, in true Galea style, this is done all through song.
Australian-born Galea has wowed audiences across the globe for the past 20 years with his skillful magic and illusions. He has appeared on Ellen, headlined in Hollywood and Las Vegas, helmed the smash-hit magic supergroup Band Of Magicians and has written and produced countless TV series and specials.
Galea is a true showman. He is charming, he is witty, he is charismatic, and he certainly knows how to entertain. The show opens with his famous trick ‘673 King St’. The presentation of this was slick, smooth, and faultless. As someone who closely watches magic to work out how things are done, I found this trick mind-blowing. From here, Galea weaves his own songs amongst the magic, sometimes at the same time. Personally, I felt his segment on psychics didn’t quite hit the same mark as the rest of the show, but magic and humour is very individual, which was evident by the reactions of those around me.
The songs in this show, all Galea’s own compositions, are well written. They are light-hearted, funny, musically well structured, and help bring his points through to the audience. Whilst Galea’s voice isn’t one of the strongest I’ve heard, his delivery and showmanship certainly sell each number.
Magic at this level is rarely seen here in Australia. There are very few Australian magicians who have made it at the level James Galea has. If your Cabaret Festival schedule isn’t full, I strongly urge you to grab what tickets you can to see this show, because if you don’t….’poof!’ it will disappear.
Reviewed by: Ben Stefanoff
Venue: Dunstan Playhouse
Season: Friday 11 June – Sunday 13 June, 9pm
Duration: 1 Hour
Tickets: From $49
Rating out of 5: 4.5
Photo Credit: Victor Frankowski