Whiting bases his performance on the sound premise that the best magic is the simplest. I have no use for magicians who traffic in big, bombastic stunts like making the Statue of Liberty disappear, but those damn cups and balls get me every time. The intimate nature of sleight of hand is a large part of what makes it so compelling; the tricks look so simple that you feel like you should be able to figure them out. And yet there's no Vegas slickness or Penn & Teller snarkiness here. "American Gypsy" is a rare bird indeed: a magic show with a heart.
Presented by MagicMouth Theatre as part of the New York International Fringe Festival at the Kraine Theater, 85 E. Fourth St., NYC. Aug. 22–29. Remaining performances: Tue., Aug. 24, 5 p.m.; Thu., Aug. 26, 11 p.m.; Fri., Aug. 27, 7 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 29, noon. (866) 468-7619 or www.fringenyc.org.