If you are skeptical about magic, bending spoons, reading minds and all of those kinds of things, than The Mentalizer is the show for you. If you believe there is an explanation behind every trick, that every movement is just a sleight of hand, than this show is also for you. If you want to get annoyed over things that just don't seem humanly possible, than this is undoubtedly the show for you. No matter where you stand on the “magic” issue, come out and see The Mentalizer – it will leave you speechless.
Mentalist Ehud Segev “The Mentalizer” is so much more than your typical David Copperfield magic show because there is so much less. Smoke and mirrors and ladies being sawed in half in front of an arena full of people are all replaced with a simple man standing in front of a small crowd of no more than 30 people, with no special lighting, in a simple apartment turned performance space. The simplicity of the setting brings so much more credibility to the performance that it becomes frustrating. It's frustrating since the audience sees unfathomable things happening right before their eyes and it's genius because the “magic” being performed is mainly on the audience, not on fancy props that can always be in question.
Ehud Segev, better know as “The Mentalizer,” is a twenty five year old Jewish man who stems his powers from his deep belief in Kabbalah. Segev's religion plays a large role in his talent. He believes that no matter how many different people and different ideas co-exist in the world, everything somehow manages to fit together. This is a message that Segev incorporates throughout his performance, turning the “mini-philosophical” lessons into another awe-inspiring trick. The Mentalist Segev rationalizes his talent by claiming to have “connections,” which give him the power to do what he does. He doesn't believe that these connections are super natural powers, but rather, powers that are so natural, they are super natural. While this sort of background can either entice you to see the show or completely turn you off – this is however the essence of The Mentalizer. Segev's powers are mind blowing, but the overall message urges you to look at the greater good. By putting your mind to something as well as working with and accepting what is around you instead of rebelling, is when amazing things can happen.
And amazing things are what you will see at The Mentalizer. To begin, the audience sits is such a small, intimate area that it allows everyone in attendance to become vunerable, a potential target, an opportunity for a skeptic to turn believer. The number of Mentalism tricks preformed compared to the number of seats available, puts the odds in your favor – or against it – that you will be asked to help in his routine.
Take me for example, the habitual skeptic, the one always looking for the reason why it can't be real and the one trying desperately to determine which audience members have been planted. My skeptical thoughts instantly melted away when my guest was asked to “assist” with one of The Mentalizer's routines. At the conclusion of the performance which my guest was apart of, I was literally blown away and slightly frightened at what I just witnessed. And as if what I saw with my own eyes wasn't enough, an additional thought dawned on me that made me even more uncomfortable. I realized that even if everyone else in the audience was planted, my guest wasn't. There were no props for The Mentalizer to hide behind. The magic that was preformed dealt directly with my guest, not with the typical rabbit and top hat. Audience members who were asked to help in routines were an integral part of the performance, not just someone to watch up close. What he did was real enough to make you think twice about what exactly you just witnessed. A lot people say that they won't believe such things unless it happens specifically to them. If that is the case, come out and see the show – your staunch beliefs will undeniably get tested.
Mentalist Ehud Segev is the Jewish David Blaine. His mystique and intrigue shine throughout his performance as he entices you to question the bigger picture and what exactly we are all capable of performing when we put our minds to it.
The Mentalizer runs every Tuesday night at 8pm in the Paradox Space located at 118 West 27 th Street on the 2 nd Floor, between 6 th and 7 th Avenues. Please call 212-352-3101 for tickets. All proceeds from the show are donated. Various charities include Feed the Children, The Multiple Sclerosis Society, City Harvest and tsunami victims amongst others.
By Amanda Scarpone