Geffen Playhouse extends hit magic show ‘The Present’ through Oct. 10


It’s quite a trick to stage a hit magic show during a pandemic when theaters are closed, but Geffen Playhouse has pulled it off. “The Present,” which is staged via Zoom and features the astonishing card tricks of Portuguese-born illusionist Helder Guimarães, has been extended for a third time, through Oct. 10.

The sold-out production is streamed live from Guimarães’ apartment, filmed by his fiance and directed by Academy Award-nominated producer and director Frank Marshall, whose blockbusters include films in the “Indiana Jones,” “Bourne” and “Jurassic Park” franchises.

It features a compelling narrative about Guimarães’ own experience with quarantine, decades ago, while recuperating at home after being hit by a car when he was a boy. But it’s the tricks, ones that the audience ultimately perform at home using items mailed to them in a small box by the Geffen, that has jaws dropping and critics raving.

The interactive experience manages to temporarily alleviate isolation from social distancing, and many theater-goers unable to attend the shows they were looking forward to at their local theaters are grateful for the opportunity to feel connected with a performer and other audience members.


The show, which originally opened in early May, accommodates 25 households per show, for nine shows per week. The last extension was through Aug. 16. Tickets for the newly added dates go on sale on the Geffen Playhouse website at 10 a.m. on June 15.

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Geffen Playhouse: “The Present”

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