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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

Luminato review: Fine card tricks the essence of Piano and Pasteboards

By John Terauds on June 14, 2013

Magician Miguel Puga and pianist/straight person Paz Sabater on stage at Mazzoleni Hall on Friday (John Terauds phone photo).
Magician Miguel Puga and pianist/straight person Paz Sabater on stage at Mazzoleni Hall on Friday (John Terauds phone photo).

Luminato failed to show its hand with the first of its magic-themed shows, which opened at Mazzoleni Hall on Friday night. The title is Concerto for Piano and Pasteboards. It’s a fine show.  But it has almost nothing to do with pianos and everything to do with card tricks.

John Terauds

John Terauds, Editor-Emeritus of Ludwig van Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at the University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.

It’s a short, sweet magic show where the assistant doesn’t mutely stand at the magician’s side in a sequined suit but plays a grand piano instead.

The show’s Spanish creator and star is magician Miguel Puga, a fun guy who made me think of every family’s oddball uncle who every year pulls something funny and unexpected at Thanksgiving dinner.

His little bit of tomfoolery involves card tricks of all shapes and sizes — with a little bit of something different at the very end of the 90-minute show, something Puga calls a “Sonata for piano and strings.”

The pianist is Paz Sabater, who does fine work tickling the ivories and acting as Puga’s all-purpose straight person. Just don’t expect a piano recital,or more than a passing glance at some favourite pieces by Manuel de Falla.

At a festival that prides itself on creativity, there is something down-homey and old fashioned about Piano and Pasteboards, right down to the cue cards that announce each act and long-suffering stage assistand Luis Britos. It’s also a show the whole family can enjoy — and may even be called to participate in.

You can find the Luminato blurb and ticket information here. Performances continue to Sunday evening.

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, Editor-Emeritus of Ludwig van Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at the University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
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