nytheatre.com review by Alyssa Simon
August 15, 2008
Remember going to see a magic show as a kid and really believing that what you saw before your eyes was real? Do you miss the feeling that magic exists and want to believe again?
That is why Marco (his human name) is here. He's really an alien sent by his planet in a last ditch attempt to save us from our worldwide epidemic of skepticism and dearth of fascination. If he can get mankind to embrace wonder by convincing us to believe in magic, we will be saved from annihilation. To accomplish his goal and save the Earth, he uses sleight-of-hand card tricks, mind-reading feats, and one amazing "how did he do that" with a rope that appears to pass through his torso.
Marco Frezza as Marco, Man of Mysteries, is a delightful performer and magician. His show Strange Attractor also has the good fortune of being staged at the Deluxe Theatre at Spiegelworld at South Street Seaport, a big red-topped tent perfect for his act of magic and wonder. The show is interactive, but Frezza with his winning personality and charm makes sure that no one is singled out for humiliation. Instead, at the performance I attended, six adults willingly stood in line to gaze into the "skepto-meter," a device like an old-fashioned hypnotic wheel used to determine our level of skepticism.
His act is not neo-burlesque or risque. It's great family entertainment and the length of the show, just under an hour, is perfect to keep a young person enthralled throughout. Frezza may be best known for "The Blindfold Drive Across America" where he, yes, drove blindfolded for seven days across the country. Although there is nothing as daring or dangerous as that in this show, there are plenty of laughs.
Part of the fun is laughing at ourselves. At first, the audience was politely clapping at Frezza's correct guess of a card or a number in a person's mind, but then we got the bigger message that there is joy in giving over to just believing which is also the great magic of theatre. It feels like Frezza gives his audience a lovely gift; to embrace wonder and fascination if only for a little while within the tent's enchanted realm.
The only difficult part is getting there. If it's your first time going to Spiegelworld, give yourself a few extra minutes to get through the Seaport area and cross the FDR to Pier 17. After that, leave your skepticism at the door, and enjoy the show!