In Fearless, Aaron Crow performs an entire hour of dangerous magic, with few breaks for less scary effects. It is in part a master class on the types of dangerous magic tricks that the audience might recognize as having been performed by other magicians, here done with Crow’s exemplary skill and distinctive style.
Through all of the danger, Crow is courteous to his audience participants. They might briefly worry that they could cut themselves on the glass that he scatters on stage, the sword that he wields, or his perfectly chiseled cheekbones, but the vast majority are asked to take more supportive roles as Crow manipulates his dangerous props. The few who are given more active roles look comforted by Crow’s quiet encouragement.
Crow fully commits to the aesthetic that he has chosen with his costume changes, set design, and clever use of lighting. He has even perfected a characteristic style of movement to match and accentuate this. Crow’s performance is almost dance-like as well as being magical.
Where such a show might falter would be in taking itself too seriously, leaving the contrived danger open to ridicule. Luckily Crow embraces the inherent ridiculousness of his genre. He performs silently to music, but his sly sense of humor shines through in his movements, especially in his direct interactions with his audience members. This maintains audience engagement without relying on simply escalating the danger of the performance. Crow certainly does this as well, but the multidimensional nature of his performance allows the danger escalation to come across as a choice rather than a transparent attempt to keep the audience’s attention.
Fearless is fantastic, but it is a very stylized take on a specific genre, which may limit its appeal. That being said, even those who are not a fan of dangerous magic will see the delight in Crow’s wit and the flow of his movement, and could not fail to be touched by his charming finale.