By David Walters
Born Asi Betesh, Asi Wind changed his name and then moved to New York from Israel twenty-two years ago. Upon arrival he did magic in Washington Square Park without knowing much of the language, letting the magic speak for itself. He is now performing just a few hundred feet further south of that location at The Judson Theatre on Thompson Street. Since that time he’s learned the language and developed a warm and inviting intimate playful patter that is revealing to the extent that we feel we get to know him personally as he delights us through the evening, playing with his audience and involving them as part of the show, everyone, not just a few chosen ones.
What makes this show so wonderful in its presentation are the tools that he uses. He doesn’t use a standard deck of playing cards. He uses a deck that is created by each night’s audience, writing their names on either a blank black or a red card. This immediately invests the audience in the show as we are all now part of the magic. “When selecting a card, you’re not just selecting the ace of hearts, you’re selecting a person.” The names on the cards become as much a part of the magic of his show as the actual magic that he performs as the theme of identity plays out throughout the evening, what our names mean to us personally as identifiers, labels, and monikers. (The trick where he reveals the secret name an audience member wanted to change their given one to, was beyond astounding.)
At this end of his twenty-two-year journey, he is now known as a magician’s magician. “Asi is one of the best magicians we’ve ever seen. We love him. He’s great. Go see him.” (Penn & Teller) “My favorite magician.” (David Blaine).
To call this show magical seems a bit redundant. It goes way beyond magic. You will be awed, mystified, and delighted by both Asi and his skill as a performer. You’ll laugh as he plays with his magic as only a master can. And what you’ll see will be more than just magic. It’s a journey into the defying of logic and the unfathomable, all with a twinkle in his eye and a knowing smile on his lips.
There isn’t a bad seat in this purposely designed house sitting on steeply raked chairs, like a bowl, looking down on a table. You can buy tickets to sit at the table with Asi if you wish and be closer to the amazement, but not necessary as the whole audience gets pulled in anyway.
Highly, highly recommended for everyone above 10 (due to swearing).
Asi Wind’s Inner Circle, starring Asi Wind.
The show’s creative team is John Lovick (Director), Adam Blumenthal (Production Designer), and ARCANA (Design Build). Jonathan Zencheck is Production Manager. Along with David Blaine, the show is produced by Arny Granat, Michael Cohl, Kevin McCollum, and Winston C. Simone.
The show is 70 minutes in length.
As always, this is just one person’s opinion in a world filled with them.