One of the many instructions patrons receive upon entering the production of Borrowed Time is to turn off their cell phones. A dark and quiet moment is essential in transporting you into the highly theatrical atmosphere created to showcase the magic of Helder Guimarães.
The cast is unexpected and interactive with a charming little tyke in a tuxedo leading to the mystery location, an ancient-looking room without an exit and brimming with curiosities. The secrets, puzzles and sensory enrichment the installation artists have created here are a real highlight. The story unfolds under a soft glow and faint music that made me want to explore all afternoon. When the magic itself begins (spring for the better seats) the mood changes abruptly and the artistry of Guimarães must carry the audience for the next hour. The change from visual to performing art is a little jarring.
Guimarães is excellent at his craft but I was hoping to continue being transported into the mysterious art installation a little while longer. His close-up card tricks won him the “Parlour Magician of the Year” award at the Magic Castle. He has created stage and TV special effects before collaborating with Neil Patrick Harris for the show Nothing to Hide at the Geffen Playhouse.
Stories are told through the cards that continue themes brought up through the show, ruminating on reality and memory. Open your mind and take a ride to this hidden world. Borrowed Time runs through April 6.