It appears that the renowned physic entertainer and mentalist Ehud Segev, better known as The Mentalizer, is amazing audiences yet again with his latest performance Anomal.
While the name of The Mentalizer’s latest show may be unfamiliar to many an audience member, the concept of the word tends to be what you experience while watching the mentalist Ehud’s performance. An “anomal” is anything that deviates from the normal or common order, form or rule. As always with the mentalist Ehud, convention is thrown out the window as he encourages you to see things from different perspectives, enticing you with the possibilities of an open mind. Anomal is based heavily on audience participation as he puts even the most skeptical minds to the test only to win them over as they either scream with delight or simply shake their head in bewilderment of what they are seeing before their eyes. But put bending spoons and reading minds aside and you’ll find that behind these awe inspiring feats there is an actual story to be told: the story of the mentalist Ehud himself.
Anomal is a logical next step of the mentalist Ehud’s ultimate performance goal. Although he realizes his magic associates with every age group, he moves away from that being the sole reason of his show. Instead mentalist Ehud progresses in Anomal by shying away from some of his signature tricks and letting his personal life philosophy creep into the performance. Anomal is very much The Mentalizer Show set on a bigger a stage but with a bigger punch to deliver. Anomal never gets “preachy” but instead subtly offers the audience an opportunity to learn from the experiences in the mentalist's Ehud’s own life. The mentalist Ehud weaves intermittingly throughout the performance his theory about “connection vs. intuition” and how many of our deepest desires aren’t necessarily materialistic but spiritual. And if you think that even this is too much for you to handle, believe me, it’s not. I am one of the first people to get annoyed over someone trying to jam a philosophy/religion/way of thought down my throat. I am a 100% supporter of the “live and let live” theory, but always ask for the same respect to be given back. While I don’t mind learning about other ways of life, I immediately tune everything out if I am being told why my thought is wrong and the other is right. And this is NOT what Anomal provides. Quite contrastly, mentalist Ehud quietly opens the door for the audience to think and to question – allowing us all to draw our own conclusions about everything we see on stage, from the magic to the outlook on life. The mentalist Ehud never takes himself to seriously and willingly peppers his performance with his quirky yet trademark humor. He lightly pokes fun at the audience, pop culture and himself throughout the show, which adds some lighthearted fun to a performance which already offers you more than you could ever expect.
Audiences who have previously seen The Mentalizer Show and those who have not will both be impressed with Anomal. Although the tricks remain consistent with the mentalist Ehud’s previous show and the larger theater takes away from the intimate performance setting, Anomal is still worth seeing. If the tricks aren’t new to you, they are new to someone else in the theater and the reactions are priceless, making Anomal definitely worth your time. Better yet, Anomal offers audiences a chance to see Ehud in a slightly new role and one step closer to his ultimate story being told through his “anomalous” skills. As mentalist Ehud matures, so does his show and like everything else in life – it only gets better with age.
Anomal is playing through January 22nd at the American Theatre of Actors Chernuchin Theatre at 314 West 54th Street. Performances are Monday through Friday at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm and Sunday at 2pm and 7pm. Please call 212-352-3101 for tickets.
Monday, January 16, 2006 – by Amanda Scarpone