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Salem's Lot: Pure Magic

Date: 2000-07-11
source: New York Post
author: Chip Deffaa

The volunteer Marc Salem pulled from the audience to help blindfold him on opening night at Feinstein's at the Regency was none other than TV's Bill Nye, "The Science Guy." Nothing like getting a scientist to lend credibility to your blindfolding, right?

Nye swears there's no way Salem could have seen anything after Nye placed two coins over Salem's closed eyes, then taped them down with tight strips of adhesive bandages and finally wrapped them with opaque black cloth.

Salem asked audience members to write down on cards activities and locations. This critic wrote: "swimming at the Delaware Water Gap."

It was fascinating to hear Salem call out: "Chip, are there two bridges at the place you're thinking of?"

"Yes," I answered.

"Is there a Lonnie or a Larry in the picture?" Salem inquired.

"No," I answered.

"Are you at the Delaware Water Gap, swimming?"


Salem, billed as a mentalist and mind reader, asked audience member Bob Daniels to name the first color that came into his mind. Salem called out blue -- which Daniels promptly showed was the color he'd written down. Daniels, who's worked as a magician and a writer, said afterward he had come to the show skeptical, expecting to guess what magicians' tricks were used throughout, but left mystified and impressed.

Salem sped up his pulse, and then stopped it. He simultaneously drew the same thing a volunteer was drawing.

Salem asked one woman to call anyone of her choosing on a cell-phone, and then let the person called select a three-digit number, which Salem correctly guessed. And, oh yes, he offers a $100,000 reward if anyone "can demonstrate he uses paid assistants, stooges or electronic devices."

Since his off-Broadway success of a few years ago, Salem has added drummer Sherrie Maricle's jazz trio, Vibrations, to his act. Although they're not yet being used to maximum effect -- they open his show with a disappointing bland, generic little set -- they do come in handy when he names tunes audience members are thinking of.

He now writes down the tune titles and has the trio play them! This unprepossessing fellow offers an unusual show, one you may wish (as I did) could have gone on longer.