Friday, January 28, 2011

Beyond Belief An Intimate Evening of Psychological Illusion

Must see BEYOND BELIEF at Kennedys-Down-Under

Intriguing, fascinating, fun, confounding, involving and surprising are just some of the words I heard from the audience after the opening night performance of BEYOND BELIEF, award winning Joshua Seth's display of illusion at Playhouse Square's Kennedy's-Down-Under performance. (The theatre is located below the Ohio Theatre's lobby.)

Psychological Illusionist, voice-over artist, hypnotist and mystery entertainer are all names that have been used to describe Kent native Joshua Seth. He's “one of the busiest illusionists touring the globe today.” Seth, who lives in Bath, and was brought up in Akron, recently returned from yet another cruise. This time he was performing on a ship going around the Hawaiian Islands. Immediately after his opening night performance here, he was jumping on a plane to fly to Baltimore, where he was to perform before over 3000 midshipmen at the Annapolis Naval Academy.

Seth, whose father was a hypnotherapist, fell in love with illusion when taken to see a Blackstone the Magician show when he was eight. He started to delve into the field. His present show grew out of the concept of mentalism, which allows him to work with the audience to influence people's thoughts and create illusion.

During the performance, Seth proved that his reputation as presenting “A high Energy, One-of-A-Kind Show” was true. He also displayed why he won First Place at the Academy of Magical Arts' “Magic Castle Olympics” for his mentalist act.

It's pretty hard to describe the 90-minute show without giving away all the intrigue. Plus, the show varies from night to night depending on the audience and the performer's mood. It's probably enough to say the fascination and excitement centered on illusions which included muscle tensing, emails, dreams, rings, blink responses, cards, head and hand shaking, $100 prizes, lottery tickets, and audience participation.

The Kennedy space is a perfect venue because it is intimate and allows for immediate interaction with the spectators. Due to the small venue, everyone gets into the act. (Yes, he even got a Times newspaper theatre critic on stage.) Seth conjured up people's numbers, names, hobbies, pets' names and travel desires. It's fun, it's astounding, it's a delight for everyone.

The “kid reviewers,” my grandson's, Alex (15), Noah (13) and Ian (11), who often go to shows to give the viewpoint of younger audiences, were perched on their front row seats, laughing, cheering, guessing how Seth did the illusions, and left full of excitement and delight. Yes, it's a show for everyone, young and old alike. (I'd recommend that the kids be 10 or over.)

Capsule judgement: Beyond Belief: An Intimate Evening of Psychological Illusion is a one of a kind experience that is a must see! Call for tickets immediately, as the show, in its present run, will only be offered three more dates (February 3, March 3 and 24), and the 80 seats will go fast as the word gets out. Fun, delight, full of intrigue, a MUST SEE!