Monkeying around with magic – a review of “Bridging the Gap”

Mike Buzzelli

By Mike “Buzz” Buzzelli, ‘Burgh Vivant

Magician Billy Kidd is in Pittsburgh astonishing audiences in her new show, “Bridging the Gap” at Liberty Magic. The magician has been seen on several television shows, such as Discovery Channel’s “Breaking Magic,” SyFy’s “Wizard Wars,” and Penn & Teller’s “Fool Us.”

Kidd has a very theatrical flair. She opens the show with a bit of performance art, talking to a stuffed monkey who answers her back by clashing his cymbals at opportune times. There’s a bit of storytelling with her tricks. She weaves a delightful tale of her origins with magic, beginning as a street performer. Kidd’s story is told with a lot of humor.

Most of her magic is the standard sleight of hand type, making objects disappear and reappear with a sharp, quick gestures. Kidd is considered one of the preeminent sleight-of-hand and close up magicians. She does, however, perform one or two feats of magic that made the audience squirm (Kidd expels a bean from her eyeball).

Billy Kidd poses with one of her many, many deck of cards for her show “Bridging the Gap” at Liberty Magic.

There is a big show-stopping number where the aforementioned monkey plays a larger role (no spoilers).

Kidd’s show is full of fun, little surprises. She is exuberant and enthusiastic. There’s a sense of wonder in her eyes. She’s still a kid (pardon the pun) at heart. And “Bridging the Gap,” unlike many shows down on Liberty Avenue, is suitable for younger audiences. It’s also a short show, at seventy minutes (no intermission).

If you have an opportunity, splurge for the VIP tickets. You get a bit extra for your buck with a additional show in the back room of the venue. Kidd also lets her guard down and answers questions from the private audience.

Be warned: A lot of Kidd’s show is participatory. She called several audience members up on stage to get into the act. Some of the funniest lines came from the audience members who were either excited or frightened into participating.

Maybe you can get into the act at “Bridging the Gap.”


“Bridging the Gap” runs until June 23 at Liberty Magic, 811 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. For more information, click here.

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