nytheatre.com review by Julie Congress
Girliemagic is a series of monologues performed by writer and
magician Maritess Zurbano. Some of these monologues are autobiographical
anecdotes, mainly dealing with her introduction to the world of magic
and her experiences in Las Vegas. In others, Zurbano takes on a
character, in particular a clown, a preacher, and a burlesque style
comedian/magician. Each monologue has at least one magic trick
incorporated into it, varying from sleight-of-hand, performed with
ropes, rings, coins, and balls, to the levitation of objects and people.
Between each of these scenes, Amy Chiang, Johnathon Hanson, Courtney
Sara, and Eduardo Pascual perform inventive, rhythmic dances.
August 15, 2003
While Girliemagic, directed by Cris Buchner and choreographed by Juan Borona, is a noble effort, it isn’t really the right vehicle for Zurbano’s magic—so much time is spent on the monologues, that they end up overshadowing the illusions. This is amplified by the fact that some of the monologues are related to one another while others are completely incongruous. And, as unique and interesting as the dances are, they don’t fit in well with the show’s format, making it seem disjointed.
I have to admit I was disappointed that Zurbano felt she and her four dancers all had to be scantily clad. I was hoping that a show performed by one of the world’s very few female professional magicians would help cast off the outdated, clich�d concept that a magic show is incomplete without a "lovely assistant."
Maritess Zurbano, know that people come to your show because you are a very talented magician, not because you wear skimpy costumes. You’ve already broken barriers by being a woman in an overwhelmingly male-dominated profession. Now just go that extra distance. You have the opportunity to be a pioneer, a role-model. Now please go for it, if not for yourself, then for this magic-loving seventeen year-old girl.