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Kinesics. As defined in the programs that are handed out at Marc Salem’s Mind Over Chicago, kinesics is a systematic study of the relationship between nonlinguistic body motions (such as blushes, shrugs, or eye movement) and communication. In other words, Marc Salem knows when you are lying despite what might come out of your mouth. Claiming that you can actually receive more information via body language than actual verbal communication, Salem sets the stage for some mind-blowing experiments that you will no doubt attempt to try (and most likely fail at) when you get home from the show.

A student of the human mind for over thirty years, Salem uses a combination of kinesics, mentalism and magic tricks to stun the audience over and over again for ninety straight minutes. Using jokes that often hit or miss (as Salem even has fun with a few of the bombs – making them successful after all) along with savvy mind-bending techniques, crowd members are in for a very unusual and entertaining evening. Salem is not shy about gathering volunteers from the audience, searching out doctors for some experiments and police officers for others. Though people, phrases and words are picked at random for nearly every segment, Salem is never fooled always stunning the audience with a correct prediction (written on paper ahead of time) to the quiet murmurs of “how could he possibly know that” or more simply put, “wtf!?”.  

In one of my favorite Salem “tricks” or “observations”, the master of non-verbal communication picks five audience members to join him on stage. Each person then draws a picture while Salem looks the other way. The pictures are then collected and shuffled and given to Salem. Of course, when we are shown the not so artistic pictures that the volunteers rushed to draw, that’s funny in itself. Salem then tells the five audience members to deny that they drew the picture that he holds in front of them whether they drew it or not and goes down the line, one denial after another. In a matter of seconds, Salem hands the picture with its matching artist, explaining that the slightest tell gave them away. Truly fascinating. Just as amazing, in another demonstration Salem also predicts a single word randomly picked out from an entire newspaper by a volunteer. “This is the stuff!” The man behind me excitedly told his friend. That’s pretty accurate.

Likeable and quick–witted, Salem’s quirky sense of humor and entertaining audience interactions could almost be a show in itself. But when combined with just the right amount of intrigue and inconceivable feats, Salem’s arsenal is lethal. Each portion of the show is as interesting as the next never leaving a dull moment.

Performer, magician, mentalist, comedian – whatever you want to call him, be prepared to laugh and be especially prepared to get stupefied. Marc Salem’s Mind Over Chicago is also filled with clean humor, so it’s the perfect show that an entire family can enjoy.

My first question after seeing Salem read people so accurately was, “Why hasn’t he been approached by the F.B.I. or something of that nature?” Well, he has. Salem has served as a consultant to both law firms as well as law enforcement agencies as one of the chief experts in Kinesics, of which he works closely with its founder Ray Birdwhistell. He has also been featured on many television programs including 60 minutes, Regis, Motel Williams and CNN. Touring around the world to the tune of sold out Broadway and off-Broadway productions, Salem should find the same success at his new home in Chicago’s Apollo Theater.

 

Whether you are a fan of having your mind blown or just want some good laughs, Marc Salem’s Mind Over Chicago comes highly recommended as a show that will truly entertain from beginning to end. Marc Salem’s Mind Over Chicago is being performed at The Apollo Theater in Lincoln Park. For more show information visit www.ApolloChicago.com

Published in Theatre Reviews

 

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