Abracadabra: Jeff McBride at Baron’s Theater [Society]

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Abracadabra: Jeff McBride at Baron’s Theater [Society]

Many theories lie behind the meaning and origination of “abracadabra.” Some believe that the incantation derives from the Hebrew language, meaning “the curse.” Others believe that the word was simply the name of a demon. The most popular theory? That the magical declaration stems from the Aramaic language, meaning “I create as I speak.” Curses and demons were noticeably absent Friday night but plenty of magic was created at the Baron’s Theater, thanks to the enchanting and talented Jeff McBride.

Former headliner of the Caesars Magical Empire in Las Vegas and past recipient of the “Best Magician in Las Vegas” title, the world-renowned Jeff McBride provided magical entertainment as a part of the Republic Bank First Friday Trolley Hop. Giving the audience a preview of his full-length show, which was held Saturday evening, McBride brought a hint of Las Vegas to Louisville Friday night, courtesy of Smerlin Entertainment.

During his 25-30 minute set, a personable and funny Jeff McBride continuously wowed the crowd. In one segment, the famous magician transformed into a time traveler, transporting the audience back to the Renaissance period. In two others, coins magically appeared out of a young participant’s nose and ears and a necklace of lighted beads captivatingly surfaced from McBride’s mouth. McBride even showcased some of the fastest hands in the world, which won him a place in the Guinness World Records for the greatest one handed card scale in a minute. But McBride’s biggest highlight? Teaching the audience how to make to make their fingers levitate, magically creating finger sausages. Yes, finger sausages.

The famous performer brought his act to what proved to be a fitting venue. Stowed away in the Whiskey Row Lofts, the enchanting Baron’s Theater was created by Larry Jones, who purchased the building in the mid-1980s. An aficionado of all things magical, Larry Jones held magic shows in the theater every Friday and Saturday night. “This building was built specifically for magic,” said Ray Smerlin, owner of Smerlin Entertainment. After Jones’ death, the building lost some of its magical charm, becoming an empty space for about 10 years. In December, the Jones family reopened the theater and voila – the building's magic was restored.

On Friday night, shouts of “abracadabra” reverberated throughout the theater and rightfully so. McBride created magic on the Baron’s Theater stage and brought back the enchantment that Larry Jones created over two decades ago. Thanks to Jeff McBride, Baron’s Theater, and Smerlin Entertainment, this past weekend, Louisville got some of its magic back.

About Kristen Hamilton
A proud Louisville native who dreams of becoming the real-life Andy Sachs from the "Devil Wears Prada."
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