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Ben Whiting
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Loyal user
Traverse City, MI
246 Posts

Profile of Ben Whiting
When I sat down to write this review of Max Maven's off-broadway show, "Thinking in Person," I intended to talk about his script, staging, incredible lighting by Jules fishers, choice of effects, etc. I planned on mentioning that on any given night you'd never know who you could see in the audience; everyone from David Blaine to Dick Cavett has been seen in the crowd and on the Wednesday night I went I had the pleasure of meeting Steve Cohen and David Kaye.

But now I've decided not to go that route.

The fact is it's easy to praise Max's ability as a mentalist, he's been getting that sort of praise all his life(just look at his other reviews of past and present). This show is no different. He'll entertain you and he'll fool you, ALL OF YOU. He'll take old lines and reframe them so they're not only entertaining for those that have never heard them, but they'll have new life for those of us that have heard them, and said them, a hundred times over. But I digress, I don't intend to harp on the things we've all come to expect from Max. He's a hell of a mentalist, that's old news.

In this review for you and I, I've decided to instead focus on ... well ... you and I, the audience. We've all had shows where we felt the audience was really on our side and shows where we had the odd ball spectator that we felt was genuinely trying to challenge our abilities. Well on this particular night Max had to deal with what seemed like a baker's dozen of these folks.

We've heard infamous lines like, "No! I want that specific card right there, the one closer to the top!" and "you switched them!" and sometimes we'll have an audience member that just doesn't want to listen and tries to do their own thing despite any kind suggestion we might make to the contrary. Max had to deal with all of these (the latter while blindfolded!) and more. There were of course the kinder spectators participating here and there, but the bottomline is the audience on this particular night did not pay money to go along for any ride, they were there to be impressed, and Max more than delivered.

Time after time I cringed as a performer, thinking to myself how is he going to get out of this one. Then he would, and always in a way that was congenial toward the spectators and all the while pulling off the effect in a way that left all the nay-sayers and skeptics slapping their forehead. This crowd that had no intention of cutting any slack for any of the 90 minutes, repaid Max at the end with a ridiculously, well-deserved Standing Ovation. I'm not saying you'll get to witness this everynight, but on this night I had the pleasure of seeing one of the best performances of my life, because as a performer I could see what Max was up against. Like having sex in an elevator, it was impressive on more than one level.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that this is not your traditional Magic Show. This is an Off-Broadway Production. With a professional set, classy sound design, and a beautiful lighting design, the director/producer Sandy Marshall has outdone himself. If you're the type of person that takes notes at a show, you'll have a lot more than usual to take note of. This is mentalism the way it should be done not only in regards to entertainment, but in all aspects of theater.


Show Dates:
Performances from 12 Jun 2012
Opening 14 Jun 2012
Closing 01 Jul 2012

Performance Schedule:
Tuesday and Wednesday at 7pm
Thursday and Friday at 8pm
Saturday at 2pm and 8pm
Sunday at 3pm

Pricing: $65 - $79.50

Theatre Information:
Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex
312 West 36th Street
(between 8th Avenue & 9th Avenue)
New York, NY
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Veteran user
Northern New Jersey
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Profile of Jay
My wife and I are going tomorrow afternoon--I cannot wait.

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Elite user
Rugby, Warwickshire
422 Posts

Profile of minty
Thanks for the review, Ben. Wish I could hop over the pond for this.
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Central Jersey, NJ
66 Posts

Profile of link8822
Thanks for the review! Max spoke about this at his lecture on Monday. He said that every one of his tricks in his show has went wrong at least once and he likes doing effects like this because it forces you to be on your toes & really pay attention to the moment.

I'm psyched about going tonight! And for those who are considering going but can't quite afford it, there's a half-price discount code that Teller posted on his twitter account.
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