Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Night Of Intrigue

Despite a tough work week and persistent (and persistently annoying) head cold, we decided to seek out a little intrigue tonight.  Intrigue Theater, that is.  Tonight at my place of employment, the ElmsHotel and Spa, the illusionist Sean-Paul and his partner Juliana, a medium, brought their Intrigue Theater show to share with the local masses and it was a sold-out wonder.  I had briefly experienced a shorter “teaser” of their show when these good folks generously agreed to perform a sample of it for our associate Christmas party.  I was quite busy that original night, though, and missed the majority of it.  By all accounts, it was a brilliant performance, so I was most excited to experience the full show tonight.  Our hotel’s excellent relationship with the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs brought them to our attention and we were excited to bring them to Excelsior Springs for a visit.

Of course, there needed to be nourishment before intrigue, so Keith and Kiko and I met at Ventana Gourmet Grill in Excelsior first.  We split a bottle of PromisQous red blended wine.  Searching for spice to help unburden my stuffy head, I sought out the Popper Burger with jalapeno, cream cheese, grilled onions and bread-and-butter pickle relish with a side of chipotle-lime-black bean soup. 

 A generous helping of spice unleashes the senses as well, so my mind felt newly open to the coming mysteries of Intrigue Theater (including a couple of bites of Ventana's always awesome cheesecake...caramel-apple in this case)..

Sean Paul and Juliana created their show in Eureka Springs, Arkansas (one of mine and K’s favorite hangs) after being inspired by a visit there.  Intrigue Theater is a thrilling throwback to the Victorian era, evoking the illusionist shows of that time period, depicted by films such as The Prestige with Christian Bale and The Illusionist with Edward Norton.

The show they did for us at Christmas included their capuchin monkey Harry and was geared more to the family audience, but this show was a whole ‘nother animal, so to speak and without the animal for that matter.  This gig seemed geared a bit more to adults.  The acts ranged from eyebrow-raisers like "guess which number and thinking of" to spine-tingling past-life hypnosis (that I nearly derailed with my coughing fits) to other eerie phenomena that I'm hesitant to reveal lest I give too much away.  Juliana, the medium and self-proclaimed "telepath", had a fascinating session.  I was that much more intrigued by Intrigue Theater with their use of history, referencing everything from New Orleans voodoo to the Salem Witch Trials.

Intrigue Theater was so much more than merely intriguing, it was quite often fascinating and at times outright jaw-dropping.  If you didn't catch it this time, it’s a must-see when we bring them back.  Watch this space….I’ll definitely sound out the call, next time they return.


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