NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
New Age mysticism mixes with old-fashioned magic in two new Off-Broadway shows. “Phenomena” features magician Belinda Sinclair. “The Mentalizer” stars Israeli mentalist Ehud Segev, but the performers go beyond a dazzling assortment of card tricks, sleight of hand, spoon-bending and mind-reading stunts. Sinclair and Segev also use their particular magic skills to deliver messages about empowerment, hope and embracing one's spirituality…
During Sinclair's show at the Perry Street Theatre, the New York-based magician – who is also an ordained minister – asks her audience to “go outside of conventional thinking by challenging the basic concepts of reality and natural order.”
“I try very hard not to contrive spirituality,” she says. “But so many people have accepted fear as part of their [existence] that they haven't really embraced that you can take the time to look within and give yourself self-worth, encouragement, strength and compassion.
“Magic is a wonderful tool that empowered me to empower people to feel good about themselves,” she adds.
Segev, who performs every Thursday at the Kirk Theatre in W. 42nd St.'s Theater Row complex, says he uses elements of Jewish mysticism to “bring people into the light.”
“What makes my show a little bit different is that I take three things together – my special ability to really connect to people; magic, which has been my hobby since I was a little boy, and a lot of spirituality,” says Segev, 24.
“I'm always trying to bring people closer to the light and make them happier and better people.”
If audiences aren't coming away from the two shows with a higher sense of enlightenment, at least they're being entertained.
Segev's show-stopping illusion is his ” super natural ability” to bend silverware with his mind. Sinclair is especially skilled at sleight-of-hand tricks using a deck of cards.
“I'm not gonna sit there and proselytize dogma the entire time, because it's not all about that,” says Sinclair.
“Let's face it – magic is really good fun.”
By ROBERT DOMINGUEZ