Review: Derren Brown's 'Secret' Is That His Magic Show's a Blast


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What exactly happens in magician Derren Brown's new Broadway show "Secret" is, well, supposed to be a secret. But this is what I can tell you: it's one of the most entertaining, enjoyable magic shows I've seen in a long time.

Brown is a mentalist — if you've seen his Netflix show (I hadn't) then you know his schtick is that he never pretends to be psychic. Instead, he says that he can "read" people's mind through their words and body language, and sneakily direct them to do the things he wants them to do through a combination of priming and suggestion.

But honestly, it's easier to believe that he IS a psychic then to wrap your mind around what's happening between Brown and the audience. The things he finds out from people are astonishing.

What makes this show really a standout, though, is that it is structured a lot like improvisational comedy, with call-backs and through=lines and an ending that wraps it all up in a way that will blow your mind. It's very satisfying, in a way that most magic just isn't.

That's all I'm going to say. Except: Really. How does he DO that?

"Secret" is at the Cort Theater through Jan. 4.

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