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The Mentalizer

There's no easy way to discuss Ehud Segev without first mentioning Uri Geller. Like the fifty-something Geller, 25-year-old Segev is an Israel-born spoon-bender.

Unlike Geller – so far, at least – Segev doesn't claim that supernatural powers were given to him by aliens.

Segev is a mentalist. The Mentalist, if he has his way. And yes, he can bend spoons. He can twist 'em around and make 'em break apart right before your eyes. He's also good with card tricks.

Back in the day, before Uri Geller was helping mining companies uncover hidden deposits (psychically, for a small fee), spoon-benders were the telepaths dujour.

They made the rounds on proto-reality-tv shows such as That's Incredible! and the late-night circuit of The Tonight Show; alongside remote viewers and spiritual mediums, they turned up on In Search Of and other 70s-era paranormal programs.

Then along came that damn Amazing randi, who debunked the lot of them and turned this young man into a skeptic.

Still, I enjoy Ehud Segev's brand of mentalism. At his show, he does the usual card tricks and power-of-suggestion stunts with audience members; he also has some nifty levitation routines. It's a shame that Segev, like so many magicians and performers who watched John Edwards cash in with Crossing Over, feels the need to spiritualize his magic act. He invokes the Kabbalah and even uses the Old Testament as a prop, and describes his show as “magic and spirituality”.

To steal from the Amazing Randi's famous quote about Geller, if Segev is bending spoons with divine powers, then he's doing it the hard way. Whatever.

He's a very good magician, and has the most charmingly awkward audience rapport this side of Vegas.

Plus, proceeds from these off-Broadway shows – continuing every Thursday night thorugh January – are donated to Charity.

Jeff Koyen

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