newcitystage.com
Review: Palace of the Occult/Eclectic Full Contact Theatre | Newcity Stage
Carter Petray, Neil Tobin, Jack Dryden/Photo: Jonathan Cohon RECOMMENDED I can happily report that this play is nothing like what I expected. A one-man show about a member of the Nazi party who aspires to become the Third Reich's Minister of the Occult elicits imagined plotlines ranging from depressing to morbid. Instead, Neil Tobin's "Palace of the Occult" is a fascinating examination of real-life Austrian/Czech Jewish performer Erik Jan Hanussen, an early advisor to Adolf Hitler. Tobin performs his opus under the direction of David Belew. The resulting production has the air of a comfortable chat among friends with some stellar magic tricks worked in. The legerdemain is the hidden point of the play. Naturally, when telling the tale of an illusionist, mentalist, and supposed psychic, you must incorporate the acts themselves into the show. Unlike more common magic shows, this production is slow-paced, lulling the audience into accepting the illusions as a natural part of the world of