Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Review of Derek DelGaudio in and of himself

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Magician, Revealer, Storyteller, Multicontainer Derek DelGaudio’s innovative and superbly gutted show In and Of Itself, which has spanned over 500 performances in New York City, is now available as a filmed presentation on Hulu. Directed by iconic Frank Oz and produced by Stephen Colbert, In and Of Itself may be hard to describe, but it’s a captivating watch. One that’s easy to cry, if not downright ugly, through. As an examination of identity, and what it means, and feels, to be “seen” by someone else, In and Of Itself is an artistic assemblage of fables that gently uses its audience. to collaborate on a group project on perception, emotion and the obtuse practice of marking and labeling oneself. We are defined by the little things people see, but also, perhaps more so, by the countless things that no one ever knows about us. It’s one of the tough takeaways in the series, and DelGaudio’s intimate and fascinating way of bringing it all together is truly magnificent.

Using card tricks, sleight of hand, illusions, mental dexterity, and the occasional mesmerism, DelGaudio is able to tackle many aspects of this elusive subject, usually shedding light on himself and certain stages in his life where he tried to be reconciled. with its own inner workings and machinations. Driven by a story told to him about a restless war veteran who survived many rounds of Russian roulette, so much so that he was dubbed the “Rouletista” by his fellow villagers, DelGaudio hard to understand why he himself was called a “Rouletista”. “

Whether or not DelGaudio’s account of the story he was told is true, although he told the audience “knowing you won’t believe me is the only reason I’m going to tell you the truth,” the theme is haunting enough to help drive the rest of the performance and shape the narrative into a giant painting that becomes a mystical and beautiful presentation. Behind DelGaudio, on one wall, are six windows with various interactive installations – like six chambers of a pistol – and each one, including the first, the Rouletista statue, takes us on a journey of heartfelt discovery.

At first, DelGaudio’s demeanor is somewhat cold and performative, but as the show progresses he transforms – perhaps another example of expert deception – into a sublimely empathetic human who truly longs to connect with everyone. world. There is an inherent dichotomy underlying a show that uses sweet deception to explore esoteric truths, so it’s natural to be wary at the outset of it all, but DelGaudio’s directing is so strong and his use of various disciplines and art forms is so unforced that the whole project sucks you in.

To its credit, too, DelGaudio addresses some obstacles from the start by agreeing that it’s hard to see past what it all looks like, as a stage show, and asks the audience to try and let go of the veil.

Trying to describe and label In and Of Itself seems subversive given that the series tries to break free from simple, mundane descriptions, but however you choose to absorb those wonderful 90 minutes, you’ll come away changed. For each person this change is different, and for most people this change is good. In a final post that sounds like a loophole, but not really if you’re listening to the show itself, you’ll just have to watch In and Of Itself and find out what that means to you.

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