August 30, 2015

A relationship dramedy set in the world of burlesque, Mariah MacCarthy’s “Magic Trick” lives low to the ground. This is partly by necessity: The play’s main character is a young woman who uses a wheelchair, and much of the action occurs as she and others are sitting or lying down. But in Christina Roussos’s production for Caps Lock Theater, the lack of elevation is an ill-advised choice, too. The hardwood floor of the black-box Studio Theater at Theater Row serves as the stage, and the audience watches from shallow risers that don’t offer a clear perspective. Sometimes a whole person came into view, but in one scene, all I could glimpse was a foot. In another, an upper arm. An entire striptease was lost on me; though the actor was standing, I could see her only from the shoulders up. I didn’t have an especially bad seat, either. At the performance I attended, most of us were craning our necks.