Joe Diamond’s ‘MYSTIC’ a real pleasure

Published: Thursday, February 7, 2019 8:28 A.M. CDT

By REGINA BELT-DANIELS

Having followed Joe Diamond for a few years, the greatest illusion perhaps about him is that it’s extremely difficult to pigeon hole him. To his legion of fans, Diamond’s an entertainer, an illusionist, a psychic, a magician, a mind reader, and, above all, a genuinely very nice man with a great sense of humor and theatricality.

With a studio at the Dole Mansion, he’s appeared at the Listening Room, Chicago’s Magic Room and all over the country (check Trip Advisor!)

Diamond’s latest show, “MYSTIC,” focuses on several historical personalities. He’s been quietly developing “MYSTIC” for the past few years and this original show was designed specially for Studio 215; it won’t be seen anywhere else in any other show.

Because of the impact on his art and history as a whole, Diamond focused on four mystics, some better known than others: American Edgar Cayce, the Sleeping Prophet; Ohio stage magician Howard Thurston, British Tarot illustrator Pixie Coleman Smith; and Claude Alexander Conlin, aka Alexander the Crystal Seer.

In a room decorated with a painted perched owl on a multiple-branched wall tree and posters of magicians (but no mirrors or cameras), the showman Diamond sets the stage for what’s about to evolve. He impressively floors the majority of the audience with his very first, for a lack of a better word, “trick.” After an audience member has removed a folded piece of paper from a Sherlock Holmes book, Diamond has placed five cards in a fanned out position in the book.

He then asks the audience member to first think of which card she wants to select and then after making her choice and ignoring his attempts to dissuade her, she pulls the card and shows the audience. It’s the Queen of Spades.

Diamond then asks her to unfold and read the note, all very dramatic, as the audience holds its collective breath.

The note reads, “I deduce a dark haired woman has chosen the Queen of Spades.” A mild scream of acknowledgment, lots of applause and Diamond gleefully moves on.

His props and territory involve books, a crystal ball, a ouija board and cards of the Tarot and Walgreen’s variety, and an astounding all-audience participation act that I won’t describe for fear of spoiler alerts. 

It’s no secret the time flies; the show is so well-paced and entertainingly absorbing that you are at all times fully engaged and hoping the show won’t end. “MYSTIC” currently is in rep with Diamond’s other show, “The 13th Hour,” in an open run on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Diamond is genuinely astounding. Because this is a studio act, you are at all times up close and personal to Diamond’s mind-boggling activities and the surrounding audience’s “how’d he do that?” faces. I’m no mystic, but I will easily predict that you will thoroughly enjoy this show.

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• Regina Belt-Daniels continues to be a happily working director and actress. A retired Raue Center for the Arts Board member and District 47 Special Educator, she is a 2018 Woman of Distinction and currently serves on the RCLPC and It’s Showtime Huntley Boards. She also can be heard in an upcoming Radio Parody Playhouse Broadcast, “The Armageddon Persuader.”

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