“At the Illusionist’s Table” Offers Fine Food for the Mind, at Cal Performances
Scott Silven Connects His Guests to Each Other, Magically
by Barry David Horwitz
Scott Silven, a consummate storyteller and performance artist, artfully connects an elegant dinner, mind-bending illusions, and 28 strangers in new and wonderful ways. As he walks around the candlelit banquet table, he seems to know each of his guests, and he weaves us together, subtly.
In a deep Scottish baritone, young Mr. Silven slowly reveals secrets about numbers and notions that we each hold in our minds. As artful mind reader, Silven conjures mysteries that arise during the three course dinner served by artful waiters, all in black. The exquisite menu is highlighted by sips of aged single malt Scotch, adding to the allure of to his illusions.
In a dark room, lighted by silver candelabra, seated at the long banquet table, Silven weaves strange connections between us. A charming Scotsman with dark floppy hair, in a slim, smart, dark brown suit, Scott knows how to enchant his elegant tableful of expectant guests.
Silven weaves his story about family connections in the countryside of rural Scotland, linking us to his grandfather, to the misty forests, and the wild rivers. Steeped in Scottish lore, with the aroma of 20-year-old Scotch single malt liquor in the air, it’s hard to resist his allure.
From the moment we hit the patio outdoors and share drinks with the select crowd, we feel we are in for something special. The dinner and performance are both carefully crafted, with prepared name cards waiting at the table. Each of the 28 people has has a reserved seat at the dusky, candlelit banquet.
It is true what he says—we arrive as strangers but in the course of a couple of hours we have made friends and contacts with like-minded people. How strange it is that a random group of local people can find so much in common in such short of time. The magic is personal and lasting.
Silven performs smoothly, always intimately aware of what we are thinking and what our eyes are telling him.
There are a few tickets left—for Friday August 9 and Sunday August 11, if you get to Cal Performances, quickly. Young Mr. Silven’s art astounds us with his ease, his congeniality, and the connections he forges between us. This intimate dinner offers an enlightening and mysterious occasion for the right people at the right time.
“At the Illusionist’s Table” by Scott Silven, at Cal Performances, in Oakland, through Sunday, August 11, 2019. Info: calperformances.org
Cast: Scott Silven and his guests.