To get it out of the way upfront: Yes, Neil Patrick Harris knows all the secrets to all the tricks in “Nothing to Hide,” the hourlong magic show that blew the minds of audience members including Stephen Sondheim and David Blaine at the show’s opening night Nov. 6.
He knows how performer Derek DelGaudio told a crowd of randomly selected individuals what cards they were holding, and how his partner Helder Guimaraes got that one card to jump invisibly from his own pocket into his cohort’s. Harris is the director of the show, after all — but even he eventually had to ask his performers, midway through the course of rehearsal, how they do it all.
“I thought they weren’t going to tell me,” he said at the opening night afterparty at midtown hotel Yotel. “Magicians are weird like that.”
He should know. The thesp and frequent awards show emcee, who also helmed the production’s world premiere at the Geffen Playhouse, is a card-carrying magician in his own right: He’s the President of Magical Arts at the Magic Castle in L.A.
Whatever he knows about “Nothing to Hide,” he’s not telling. “A director, not unlike a magician, is a keeper of secrets,” he said, adding that he’d love to do a magic show himself one day — though probably not the card tricks that are the focus of “Nothing to Hide.” “I like the big illusion stuff from the 1920s, when everyone wore top hats and people thought ghosts were real.”
DelGaudio, the Magic Castle’s close-up magician of the year two years running, and Guimaraes, a world champion of card magic, don’t exclusively do card tricks, but that was what they chose to concentrate on for “Nothing to Hide.”
“It’s like music, in a sense,” Guimaraes said. “When you want to be a virtuoso, you pick the violin and you stick to the violin.”
(pictured: Helder Guimaraes, David Blaine, Derek Delgaudio and director Neil Patrick Harris at the Yotel afterparty)