• Photo by Jesse Dylan

The great sleight-of-hand artist, historian of magic and vaudeville, actor, and raconteur Ricky Jay kicks off a six-night stand of his new show, Ricky Jay: A Rogue’s Gallery—An Evening of Conversation and Performance tonight at the Royal George Theatre Centre. Directed by friend and longtime collaborator David Mamet, it’s something of a departure from previous shows – audience members will guide the direction of the show by selecting from a gallery of Jay’s interests and obsessions.

I had the opportunity to discuss the show with Jay, who also touched on Chicago’s legendary restaurant and bar magic scene, and Ward Hall, the last of the great vaudeville impresarios.