Pick Me, Lior!

Israeli mentalist Lior Suchard brings the whole audience in on the act

Lior Suchard’s [i]Supernatural Entertainment[/i] is a solid little magic show. Strolling onstage in jeans, an untucked shirt and loose sport coat, he worked the crowd in the pleasantly intimate Lounge at the Palms, managing his misdirection well and directly engaging almost every willing audience member with light, funny patter and some pretty cool trickery.

Despite the tantalizing publicity images of the mentalist gazing through a wine glass with a bent stem and another of him holding a bent spoon, he never tried these illusions. Instead, he started off with some rather pedestrian cold readings. In what appears to be a trademark bit, Suchard named audience members’ first loves. “It’s the accent,” one woman allowed when he came close, but didn’t quite nail the name of her old beau.

What followed was more intriguing. He brought a pair of audience members onstage, separated them by a dozen feet, and then tapped, stroked and tickled one to produce the same tap, stroke or tickle “remotely” in the other. Suchard got some PG-13 humor out of this trick when he told the audience the “effect will last about a week, so wherever he touches himself, she’ll feel it too.”

Although Suchard was crowned Uri Geller’s successor by the old spoon-bending charlatan himself, he thankfully de-emphasizes any claims of raw, mutant “mind power.” He instead lays down a more seemly assertion that his act combines “psychology, sensitive intuition, supernatural skills and guided imagination.”

Certainly, his intuition spotted me fairly quickly. He scanned the crowd looking “for a skeptic,” and we locked eyes almost immediately. “You, you look skeptical,” he said, and indeed I am. Then I was onstage, soon to be joined by my wife, more audience members and a cocktail waitress, all of us attempting to hide $100 bills in our hands with the promise that if he picked the wrong hand, we’d all be 200 bucks richer. Of course, there was no way we were getting those crumpled bills, but that didn’t stop us from trying.

Ultimately, Suchard did what all good magic acts do: suspend disbelief while encouraging futile attempts at explanation. I got as much enjoyment out of watching the main show as I did watching him read the crowd.

But the show’s real draw is Suchard’s seemingly unaffected friendliness and his fearless proximity to the audience. So, if your inner child has her hand in the air as high as it can go and she’s screaming “pick me, pick me,” then hustle on down to the Palms for a magic show you can both enjoy.