Ends Sep 03

In & Of Itself

Members say: Slow, Entertaining, Clever, Overrated, Banal
21 reviews
12 reviews

The Daryl Roth Theatre presents the New York premiere of this performance piece by magician Derek DelGaudio, directed by Emmy winner Frank Oz.

... Read 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.

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Reviews (33)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score


“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

The New York Times

“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

Time Out New York

"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

Lighting & Sound America

"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

Talkin' Broadway

“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

The Huffington Post

"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

The Huffington Post

"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

Woman Around Town

"'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

Theater Pizzazz

“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

Epoch Times

“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

Entertainment Weekly

"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

Paste Magazine

“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

The Hollywood Reporter

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

LA Weekly

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

Los Angeles Times

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

The Three Tomatoes

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

Arts Beat LA

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 "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

Total Theater

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

Daily Bruin

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

Los Angeles Magazine

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

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

Clever, Thought-provoking, Banal, Slow

See it if If you like creative theatrical lessons interlaced with magic. (With a finale that will blow your mind)

Don't see it if If you really just want magic. There were few tricks during the show and it focused more on life lessons and stories.

Thought-provoking, Masterful, Resonant, Entertaining, Beautiful lighting/design

See it if You want to break your expectations of what magic is and can be, while nevertheless being entertained in an intelligent and accessible way.

Don't see it if You think this is appropriate for children. This is intended for adults and has mature themes.

Also Despite the room full of people, Derek made it seem like he was perfor... Read more Read less

Clever, Slow, Entertaining

See it if You are interested in creative storytelling sprinkled with mind bending illusion. You are looking for something unique.

Don't see it if you are looking for a show chock full of illusion or magic.

Funny, Absorbing, Riveting

See it if You enjoy sleight of hand and masterful magic.

Don't see it if You want Vegas style spectacle.

Funny, Clever, Masterful, Slow, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy magic and thoughtful performances. It's so good, especially the end!

Don't see it if you want a Vegas style show with non-stop explosive tricks. This is a little slow, but Derek is deliberate in his thoughts and actions.

Absorbing, Intense, Masterful, Must see, Entertaining

See it if you like having your faith in your senses challenged.

Don't see it if you just want to know how the trick is done.

Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You enjoy low key magic, profound theatrical events, and puzzles that will stay with you long after the show.

Don't see it if You have a short attention span, only like flashy magic with tigers and boxes, and expect a new trick every ten minutes

One person show meets magic show

See it if You love the idea of a one man autobiographical magic show

Don't see it if If you expect Cirque du Soleil

Indulgent, Banal, Disappointing, Cliched, Overrated

See it if You don't mind an awkward, pompous performer telling you all about himself & how silly magic tricks masquerading as art are oh so profound.

Don't see it if You want to see a show filled with genuine moments of wonder (not another tired object through bottle or poor, transparent gambling routine)

Banal, Excruciating, Overrated, Slow

See it if You like real slow things. Very few magic tricks (5 I think), a LOT of talking and patter. Weird.

Don't see it if Like Magic and dynamic shows. Unlike Nothing to Hide or Verso there is not a lot to see here. Also, don't see it if you don't like snobs.

Also If you think for yourself, most of the tricks are obvious and not magi... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Overrated

See it if You are up to depressing things.

Don't see it if you saw Nothing to Hide or Verso. There is just a couple of tricks, nothing impressive.

Also can't understand how NPH and Frank Oz are on this production. Very dis... Read more Read less

For a previous production
Poignant, Original, Surprising

See it if You're up for a blend of masterful close-up magic, interaction, storytelling, and surprising emotion. Thought-provoking and surprising!

Don't see it if You don't like magic, or you only want to see a straight magic show without storytelling or theatricality.

Also This is a review for the LA run. This show contains less magic content... Read more Read less