Things really escalate when Borden presents "The Transported Man" trick (he bounces a ball across an empty stage, disappears through a door on one side of the stage, instantly reappears out of a door on the other side and catches the ball he just threw), Angier is frantic to discover the secret. He sends his assistant (a sultry but sad Scarlett Johansson) to seduce Borden and steal the trick. When that fails, Angier kidnaps Borden's assistant and buries him alive, wringing the secret to the "Transported Man" from his rival before he'll reveal the grave's location. But being buried alive is kid stuff before these two are done tormenting each other. By the time The Prestige reaches its shocking conclusion, you'll be convinced that sometimes secrets are a good thing.
David Bowie appears as a scientist who creates a teleportation machine for Angier, and Michael Caine is Cutter, the illusion engineer who works with both magicians. 11:55 p.m. Friday and Saturday. River Oaks Theatre, 2009 West Gray. For information, call 713-866-8881 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com. $6.
Fri., Oct. 3, 11:55 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 4, 11:55 p.m., 2008