When the Durham Performing Arts Center’s advertisement for The Naked Magicians showed up in my Facebook feed, I texted my daughter:
Me: “Do you want to go see The Naked Magicians?”
Daughter: “Boundaries mom. Boundaries!”
Daughter: “What do they look like?”
Me: [Sends picture]
Daughter: “I’m in.”
Australians Mike Tyler and Christopher Wayne had been working as fully clothed magicians for years when they got the idea of being “Naked Magicians” after the movie Magic Mike was released. I imagine the brainstorming session went something like: “Can you believe they made a $100 million, and there wasn’t even any magic in it!? Dude … what do you look like naked?”
The Naked Magicians must divide their time between the gym and practicing magic, because they look pretty damn good in both respects. This adults-only show is geared towards the ladies, with a hearty shoutout to gay men. Before their dual straight jacket escape, they proclaim, “We, The Naked Magicians, believe in equality for all,” as they bust out their “gay jacket” (which is just like the straight jacket, but bedazzled with sequins and glitter and much more fabulous!)
There were 750 people at the show last night, and about 50 of them were men: gay men having a Boy’s Night Out and straight men on what I can only imagine were very awkward dates. Magician Mike Tyler welcomed the straight men by saying, “Thank you for bringing your wife to see my clock (only he didn’t say â€˜clock’).”
This show suffers a bit from some pacing issues. The hypothetical porn bit drags a little, and not all the jokes hit their mark; but most of them do, and overall it is a very funny 90 minutes. The magic is quite good and is made all the more amazing, because there is literally no place that they could be hiding anything. But, let’s be honest, the audience is less there for magic than they are for the naughtiness; and this show delivers.
October 2018 will go down in history as a particularly rough time to be a woman, and maybe it is an odd time to go see a ribald comedy/magic show starring naked men; but maybe it is the perfect time. The Naked Magicians’ performance is full of dirty, flirty jokes, and sexy stripteases; but it is oddly respectful. As they were about to blindfold a woman from the audience, they assured her, “We promise we will not do anything to embarrass or degrade you. Can I blindfold you?” Consent is as easy as that, folks.
Audience participation is a big part of this show; and it makes it feel like one big Girl’s Night Out. Of course, there is always one a-hole in every crowd; and as one young woman was brought on stage, blushing and laughing, she apologized, “I’m sorry, I laugh when I’m nervous.”
One of the vastly outnumbered straight men in the audience still felt secure enough in his douchiness to shout something filthy up to her. Christopher Wayne stopped the show immediately: “Don’t say that [expletive deleted] to her! Why do you have to be such an [expletive deleted] creep!? Shut your [expletive deleted] weirdo mouth!”
I wanted to stand up and shout and point, “Yes! This! This is what we want! Women don’t want a world without sexy flirting or dirty jokes; we just want to be in on the joke and not the degraded targets of them. We want a world where good men stand up to their less-than-decent peers and tell them to show some respect or “shut their [expletive deleted] mouths.” And, seriously, if a naked man with a top hat over his junk can be a decent human being, then why the [expletive deleted] can’t everyone else?
The Durham Performing Arts Center presents THE NAKED MAGICIANS at at 8 p.m. Oct. 6 at 123 Vivian St., Durham, North Carolina 27701, in the American Tobacco Historic District.
TICKETS: $30 and up, plus taxes and fees. Click here for DPAC Special Offers.
DPAC Box Office: 919-680-ARTS (2787), firstname.lastname@example.org, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events-tickets/where-to-buy.
Ticketmaster: 800-982-2787 or https://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/369510/2069753.
SHOW: https://www.dpacnc.com/events/detail/the-naked-magicians-1 and https://www.facebook.com/events/190786754907560/.
VIDEO PREVIEWS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pwnuXjCz8U and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC72d8Tj0A0XqHZy9jEfTeqQ.
DPAC NEWS RELEASE: https://www.dpacnc.com/news/detail/the-naked-magicians-return-to-dpac-oct-5-6.
THE TOUR: http://www.nakedmagicians.com/, https://www.facebook.com/sleevesuppantsdown/, https://twitter.com/NakedMagicians, and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC72d8Tj0A0XqHZy9jEfTeqQ.
TOUR CAST: http://www.nakedmagicians.com/the-magicians.
PRESENTER/VENUE: http://www.dpacnc.com/, https://www.facebook.com/DPACNC, https://twitter.com/DPAC, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durham_Performing_Arts_Center.
DPAC CONTENT ADVISORY: “Recommended for audiences 18 and over due to strong language, suggestive content, and nudity.”
Nicole Noel is a former U.S. Army journalist-turned-Technical Knowledge Manager, with a love for the arts. At age seven, she wrote her first story on the wall of her basement after being told the family might have to move: “There once was a girl named Nicole who had a dog named Rat and they lived in this house.” She liked the way that you could capture a moment in a sentence, and still does. These days Nicole lives with her daughter, and a dog named Buffy, in a house in Fuquay-Varina. Click here to read her reviews for Triangle Review and Triangle Arts and Entertainment.