Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Determined - An Intimate Evening of Influence and Prophecy


Determined - An Intimate Evening of Influence and Prophecy
written, produced and performed by Kent Axell

At the LATEA Theater

Kent Axell bills himself as a mentalist, a mind-reader and a liar. His show Determined is a remarkable collection of sleights-of-hand, a series of superb tricks couched in theatricality.

Much of the material shows his powers of clairvoyance. The evening I attended, at the top of the show, Axell instructed a fellow in the audience yell to yell “Stop!” during the show at whatever time he chose. Then Axell set a clock and placed it in a large envelope. Our audience member yelled “Stop!” at 8:42. Nothing extraordinary so far. But at the end of the show Axell took the clock out of envelope and showed us that he had set it at 8:42. Great!

Much of the show, in fact, was reviewed at the end. At the beginning of the show he showed us a scroll that he placed in a box that was lifted up to the flies. At the end of the show he unrolled it and we could see that it recorded what went on during the show. The woman in the audience had told us she went sky-diving. Another fellow had imagined a pair of dice that registered 6 and 11. The woman brought on stage had dark hair and was wearing a red dress. It was very impressive.

His final and best trick was a sort of Russian roulette managed by an audience member. He placed a six-inch spike driven through a block of wood in a paper bag, and places just a block of wood in three others. A woman from the audience chose three bags, one by one, and he slammed his hand into each, risking, as far as we could see, impaling himself. The remaining bag, of course, was the bag with the spike. The idea was that he knew she’d choose the safe bags. Pretty intense…

Mentalist shows can have different tones, and Axell’s has the tone of a terrific, down-to-earth party. But he could benefit from wearing a microphone to enhance his presence. Still, Determined is a great show!
Steve Capra
September 2015