The Daryl Roth Theatre presents the New York premiere of this performance piece by magician Derek DelGaudio, directed by Emmy winner Frank Oz. More…
In 'In & of Itself,' DelGaudio examines the illusion of identity. New ways of seeing the unseeable are explored, as memories from yesterday, inexplicable events witnessed today, and secrets imagined for tomorrow all blend together, creating a perpetual paradox of a show.
"'In & Of Itself,' directed by Frank Oz, has ambitions beyond wowing you; it uses its illusions in the service of a serious-minded investigation into identity. It is the most personal and emotional magic show I have ever seen—it makes people cry—and DelGaudio’s performance has only deepened during the run. To describe what he does as a magic show at all seems almost like a form of misdirection. It’s not just magic; it’s magical." Full Review
“Although it's intended as a meditation on the nature and influence of identity, such concerns invariably fall behind the magic in prominence at every juncture…For more precise balance, an experienced playwright to aid with structure, or at the very least more time to develop the ideas, would not hurt. Really, though, you're not apt to care if the tricks are good, and those here are pretty great…He and his show are about as compelling, if not as groundbreaking, as they come.” Full Review
“Our charming host has ample opportunity to be a commanding narrative storyteller, with extraordinary illusions woven throughout in the manner of a musical score. They're not merely pauses for entertainment value but engine-driving, load-bearing moments that elevate magic from a diversion to a fine art. For perhaps the first time, magic is raising the question why instead of how — and why is leading to far more interesting answers.” Full Review
“A haunting, one-man performance piece that explores the disconnect between how we see ourselves and how others see us…In fact, there's so much art in the show that at times the magic can feel distracting. That's because the heart of this piece is not astonishment, but a series of deeply felt, confessional narratives…And yet when the magic and storytelling perfectly align in the last half hour, it is as if he has pulled an elephant out of a hat." Full Review
"If you come expecting a succession of quick routines and exuberant showmanship, 'In & Of Itself' will confound. But give yourself over to its subtler brand of magic and you should emerge pondering deeper questions beyond, 'How the hell did he do that?!' But you will ask that, too. DelGaudio masterfully performs six illusions...If the show sounds like a grab bag of unrelated elements, it eventually coalesces...It's best to enter in the dark if you want to fall under its heady spell." Full Review
“Mesmerizing…DelGaudio’s expert, nimble fingers move quickly and rhythmically to produce amazing feats of sleight of hand. Remarkable! How does he do it? This is the next level, the extreme level, of sleight of hand…The actual ending leaves you incredulous…Derek DelGaudio raises esoteric questions that we can choose to ponder and answer.” Full Review
"It is wonderful to witness the legerdemain generated by Derek DelGaudio...For all of the undeniable wonders that transpire over the seventy-five minutes, 'In & Of Itself' remains a cunningly low-keyed event, glimmering with a nearly mystical quality...DelGaudio’s medley of astonishments is heightened by the atmospheric production...All the elements coalesce to lend a gently hypnotic ambiance to DelGaudio’s doings." Full Review
"Magician Derek DelGaudio astounds audiences with his new one-man show, combining confessional storytelling with amazing effects, revolving around the philosophical concepts of illusion and identity...Adroitly staged by Frank Oz with mood music by Mark Mothersbaugh and subtle lighting by Adam Blumenthal, it’s a dazzling theatrical display of the magical arts." Full Review
"Each tale eventually leads to an unexpected, jaw-dropping trick...As a storyteller, DelGaudio is undeniably compelling, making the show feel intimate and personal. As a magician, well, there’s a reason he’s collected so many awards for his work and served as a consultant on Christopher Nolan’s film 'The Prestige.' Ultimately, though, the true magic of the show is its philosophical consideration of illusion, identity, and perception." Full Review
"A show with a surprisingly soulful quality...You could easily be forgiven for wondering, during the first thirty minutes, exactly where all of this is headed. Gradually, however, DelGaudio gets down to business, working a series of breathtaking sleight-of-hand card routines...A strange hybrid of magic and performance, 'In & Of Itself' left me somewhere between bewitched and bemused...I think I can guarantee it's unlike anything you've seen before." Full Review
“For much of the evening, the buildup for each trick is too lengthy, the commitment to personal revelation too patchy. Mr. DelGaudio seems torn between wanting to deliver gee-whiz effects and wanting to withhold them in service of something more sophisticated…But here’s the real wizardry: The show works. Beautifully. Tenderly. Astonishingly…Wonder is a rare commodity these days. So take a card. Any card. And find it.” Full Review
“A unique magic show...The show concerns itself with more than magic. It probes the viewer’s mind, inviting him to examine what identity is, really. As the show is interspersed with illusion, one may indeed begin to question formerly held conceptions…The show was at times mesmerizing, and never less than interesting. You can do worse than going downtown to the Daryl Roth Theatre and picking out your own card.” Full Review
"'In & Of Itself' is literate and intriguing. Derek DelGaudio’s onstage persona is serious. He’s not trying to fool us so much as to make us aware. The boat effect, though charming, doesn’t seem to relate to a story and, despite impressive manipulation, I could have done without the inevitable cards. Everything else follows as the night the day, weaving an artful spell." Full Review
"At once personal and prophetic: The boy who hid information makes a living blurring reality...His tricks are impressive and he does amaze—but at times, the pacing is a bit too subtle...The real trick is how he employs stories, illustrated by cut-out windows on a back wall, to underscore his sleight-of-hand. For 75 gently hypnotic minutes, the amiable DelGuadio reminds us that seeing is believing—even if what we see is an illusion." Full Review
"A piece of theater that moves you rather than dares you to figure it out...Here he is now with a new solo show, one that pushes further forward into creating moments of emotion and beauty where the 'trick' or stunt or illusion is not the point. He’s not there yet, but the evening is satisfying on several levels and it’s quietly exciting to see where he’s headed...It’s not a masterful performance yet. He’s a natural at magic but not as yet a natural at stage patter." Full Review
“A genius magician dabbles in a non-linear one-man show format, which works sometimes but not others. The illusions, however, will definitely blow your mind…They are sometimes deeply emotionally moving…The monologues are a bit belabored, stretched, disjointed, and often unearned…It’s unclear what you’re ultimately supposed to draw from this theatrical fog, but you’ll definitely leave the theatre very impressed, with a hefty dose of warm and fuzzies.” Full Review
for a previous production "This is a singular and unique experience, invincible to generalities. DelGaudio is more interested in raising questions than answering them, and his true talent isn’t in the expertise of his card handling, but his ability to use a larger context to elevate illusion into a kind of poetry. There are at least five utterly astounding moments in this show where he does just that...It’s hard to imagine any evening at the theater being more personal, more moving, or more magical." Full Review
for a previous production "As thought-provoking as any piece of theatre I’ve ever seen and as revelatory in its awe-inspiring moments as any magic act I’ve ever witnessed...'In & Of Itself' is a rare entertainment where magic and theatre have evolved into a new form of art...More than the sum of its parts, each decision enhances the overall effect and delivers on the show’s promise." Full Review
for a previous production "DelGaudio does not perform parlor tricks, he tells stories and connects directly with the audience using the illusions as emphasis to heighten their impact...Derek DelGaudio is a masterful storyteller. He fills minds with anecdotes and perplexing tales then blows those minds with simple but astounding feats. No matter how much one wants to know how everything has been achieved, one cannot help but enjoy the thrill of the mystery. And that's the real magic." Full Review
for a previous production “Some stories thrill and send shivers down the audience’s spine, while others feel like a bemusing non sequitur to lead DelGaudio to his next trick…In a way, the magic of 'In & Of Itself' is less about the tricks and reveals but more about what it makes the viewer contemplate. DelGaudio’s questions and stories worm their way into the audience members’ minds, and make them question if what they are seeing is real…‘In & Of Itself’ is like nothing I have ever seen before.” Full Review
for a previous production "A quirky kind of magic show, one whose basic comic spirit has an aura of darkness and mystery...When he’s not being serious DelGaudio, a low-key but skilled magician with a deft line of patter, does card tricks, interacts with the audience, tells jokes, disappears various objects before our eyes, and entertains us masterfully...Mothersbaugh’s score provides a haunting underpinning to the one-hour show, which is ably directed by Frank Oz." Full Review
for a previous production "Such an unexpected puzzle of a show, such an eclectic collection of stories, confessions, illusions and tricks — several truly dumbfounding — that audience members will want to come back...The show, proceeding in unpredictable directions, has a quirky, grab-bag feel that is at once attractive and a bit unsatisfying...DelGaudio announces large and portentous themes but could use some more supporting evidence and a stronger concluding paragraph to tie everything together." Full Review
for a previous production "The illusion and prestidigitation show feels somewhat underwhelming. Ostensibly a very short evening with a solo performer the show unfolds at a languid pace. Derek DelGaudio’s presents for us as a series of stories, illusions and card tricks. His demeanor is quiet and his delivery is measured and soporific...He performs a neat little piece of sleight-of-hand and shadow puppetry...Derek DelGaudio’s show is a pleasant, if brief, diversion but as a magic show it’s not all that remarkable." Full Review
for a previous production "It’s all very heady and will intrigue even those not predisposed to card tricks and the like, but only up to a point. If all you want is to be blown away by mind-twisting illusions, 'In & Of' Itself might leave you a little disappointed...While DelGaudio’s approach to his craft is wholly original, it is engaging only in so far as one is interested in magic. Otherwise it quickly becomes the same old thing in a beguiling new wrap." Full Review
for a previous production "'In & Of Itself' leaves you just kind of expecting more...There’s a fair bit of literal and symbolic misdirection as well, of extended buildups that don’t seem to lead anywhere or pay off...All told, there are some half-dozen illusions that, while impressive, don’t withstand the-walk-to-the-car scrutiny...For an experience billed as both magic show and night of revelation, it comes up a little short on either end." Full Review
See it if It's rare that I get so absorbed into a show. An intimate and exquisite blend of stories and illusions that leaves you feeling tender.
Don't see it if If you're looking for a show with big flashy tricks, this isn't for you
See it if You enjoy magic. You aren't put off by a little audience participation. You're okay seeing a show without REALLY knowing what it's about.
Don't see it if You don't like magic. You need to know what a show is about before you go in. You don't like audience participation.
See it if You love expert magic tied to a theme of identity. If you’re open to having a profound and entertaining experience
Don't see it if You’re expecting a conventional play with a story or you refuse to suspend your disbelief even for the purpose of being entertained.
See it if Fantastic magic show with stories thrown in. Be sure to take something from the wall (think for a moment before you choose). Great ending!
Don't see it if You're not willing to be amazed.
See it if you want to be challenged by a magician who does his tricks slowly with great thought provoking dialogue. The ending was amazing! Wow!
Don't see it if you want to see a flashy fast moving razzle-dazzle magic show. The magician is very low keyed throughout the show.
See it if You like over-arching themes of illusion, identity, belief in the unseen, finding connection. It's magical, in every sense. You'll tear up.
Don't see it if Expecting standard magician fare. The show is special for many reasons, including the stories in-between. Don't read too much beforehand.
See it if You enjoy one man shoes with heart and sincerity....and if you enjoy magic performed with a twist, entire audience left in awe of the talent
Don't see it if You don't enjoy biographical one-man shows that have magic tricks interspersed into the dialogue.
See it if you like storytelling and want to be challenged. I don't usually care for one-person or magic shows, but this is unique and excellent. Art!
Don't see it if you are expecting a traditional magic or illusion show.
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