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Mindplay I’m glad I went to see Mindplay on February 5 when it ran for one night in Pineapple Lab, Makati.

I invited other magicians to come and watch the show, but only Mon Yap showed up among my invitees. He would probably have come even without my invitation. I was happy he did. While waiting for the show to start, he foraged around Rockwell for quick foods and brought me a hamburger and a can of Coke Zero. Many thanks, Mon!

Mindplay lived up to its billing as a groundbreaking event. It brought together in one show Nomer Lasala and Justin Pinon. They are two of the country’s top mentalists. They have been working for some time the mentalism niche.

Ah, what a niche Mindplay attracted that night!

It comprised the yuppies and the English-chattering, smartly-dressed city dwellers of Metro Manila. They came in droves. Mostly in SUVs.

As Nomer and Justin slayed the audience, I watched them with wide-eyed wonder and curiosity. They served up mind-riveting mentalism that they performed with aplomb, humor, and energy.


After the show: Justin, Nomer and Kel celebrate with magicians and mentalists.

In the past, I have watched this duo perform bits and pieces of mentalism, but not an entire show. How they would stage it, therefore, intrigued me. I was looking forward to seeing how they would interact with the audience. Or how they would handle skeptics. I also wanted to see how they would segue from one act to another and make seamless transitions between routines.

I’m happy to report Nomer and Justin answered the time-worn question of mystified audiences. That question is, “How did you do that?”

The answer is, “Very well.” They did it very well.

kelWhile the spotlight was trained on the two artists, a third performer in the show should be given his due.  The effervescent, articulate standup comedian Kel Fabie hosted the program and made it sparkle. Still, I had this sneaking suspicion he wanted to stay in the shadows. (His name is just a footnote and his photo a speck on the bottom of the Mindplay poster.)

But his aspiration for staying in the background had little success. He shined in his hosting job and energized the audience with his brand of magic and mentalism.  It was difficult to NOT notice him, or to relegate him to a footnote in the audience’s mentalism-addled mind.

Great job, guys. Looking forward to more mentalism shows to perk up this genre of our art.

Stay magical,