At the top of her new show, A Woman’s Touch, now playing at Liberty Magic, magician Jade requests that her audience members relinquish their reliance on reality for the 90 minutes they spend with her.
Review by Laura Caton
In the abstract, that might sound a little intimidating. But in Jade’s company, the new reality is full of warmth, grace, and humor.
Jade is not only an expert magician (she is, amongst many other accolades, the first woman ever to have won the prestigious Gold Medal of Magic from the International Brotherhood of Magicians) but a gracious hostess. Attending her show is a welcome escape from the cooling weather outside. This warmth comes in large part from Jade’s willingness to share her life story throughout her show. She draws from her Chinese heritage and her experiences as an immigrant (her family moved to the United States when she was a young child) to explain her journey from a magic shop cashier to a renowned magician herself.
There has clearly been a great deal of thought put not only into the magic of her show but also the way that magic is framed: Jade shares family photos, family stories, and cultural touchstones, most heartwarmingly in a trick dedicated to her 90-year-old mother, which Jade performs in the persona of her mother. It’s clear from the sizzle reel that opens the show that Jade is abundantly capable of large-scale stage illusions, but Liberty Magic offers an opportunity for a quieter, more intimate, but no less magical show. The personal touches are abundant even in the program materials: each audience member is sent home with instructions and materials to make an origami crane, as featured in one of Jade’s stories and tricks, and in the Skeleton Key VIP room after the show, she taught her audience how to do a trick and sent them home with the means to do it themselves.
The night I saw the show was the first night of its run and one of Jade’s first live performances since March 2020. The performance wasn’t without a few minor hiccups, some caused by what may have been understandable nerves and some caused by a few audience volunteers who were a bit less predictable than those at a typical magic show. But no matter what the evening presented to her, Jade approached it with the poise and good nature that permeates her performance; each moment that could have derailed a lesser magician allowed her to deepen her connection with her audience. And if that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.
For more information and tickets, visit: https://trustarts.org/production/76412/liberty-magic-jade-in-a-womans-touch