Review: When magic and music mix

Magic tricks and show tunes … for Darren Romeo, aka “The Voice of Magic,” the combo, somehow — amazingly — works.

Romeo has brought his kitschy Siegfried & Roy-sanctioned Las Vegas act to San Francisco’s comparatively intimate Post Street Theatre for a run scheduled through July.

While the show couldn’t be cheesier — Romeo’s the first to admit it — it does represent 90 minutes of pure, goofy, “how’d-he-do-that?-type” fun of the kind not regularly seen in The City.

It’s not Tom Stoppard, Tony Kushner or even Michael Feinstein, but the show does present Romeo as a skillful, hard worker with an enthusiastic singing voice, wacky set list — “Dream Lover,” “Talk to the Animals,” “Show Me” — delightfully honed audience banter, and, yes, awesome old-fashioned magic tricks in the style of Harry Houdini and Harry Blackstone.

He and his sequin-laden, bumping-and-grinding leading lady Kristy Michelsen and dancers Mariko Takahashi and Terrin Kelly perform seemingly miraculous feats, including disappearing and reappearing at the wave of a cloth or the opening and closing of a big box — all while singing.

Continuing the crooning, and often taking breaks to chat with audience members he enlists to help with the stunts, Romeo floats a table, or conjures up a rose in a segment set to “Try to Remember” from “The Fantasticks.”

At one point, a white grand piano appears at the blink of an eye.

Romeo levitates, and even gets sawed in half. One audience member called upon opening night feared she’d be the bisected one, but Romeo did a nice job of not embarrassing her, or any of his helpers too much.

Also on opening night, a woman named Gina sitting down front was holding a beverage with a straw, which Romeo promptly put up his nose and took out of his mouth … a captivating show opener.

With a pleasant enough singing talent that probably won’t earn him a spot on Broadway, Romeo nonetheless has found an inventive way to incorporate his love for musical theater with his love for classic magic.

Only the most grumpy wouldn’t be amused by his showmanship.

lkatz@sfexaminer.com

IF YOU GO

Darren Romeo: The Voice of Magic

Where: Post Street Theatre, 450 Post St., San Francisco

When: 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays; closes July 13

Tickets: $40 to $65

Contact: (415) 771-6900 or www.ticketmaster.com

artsentertainmentOther Arts

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