The Quantum Eye

GOING MENTAL Eaton, left, picks the brain of an audience volunteer.

GOING MENTAL Eaton, left, picks the brain of an audience volunteer. Photo: Michael Kwiecinksi

Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>1/5

Nature is full of baffling mysteries. In addition to the enigmas that surround Easter Island, Loch Ness and the Himalayas, we now have one at SoHo Playhouse: Who convinced Sam Eaton he has an act? With all the gusto of an IRS auditor perusing a ledger, this somnolent performer trots out a hoary repertoire of stale mind-reading routines.

The absence of showmanship would be forgivable if Eaton's feats were amazing. (In fact, England's most famous mentalist—Datas the Memory Man—was just such a lackluster yet awe-inspiring performer.) But Eaton seems at great pains to convince us that his "deceptions" are neither magical nor difficult. Without magic or at least the appearance of great effort, we are left with a black hole—which might account for the "quantum" reference.

Most egregious of all is the booking of a show that depends entirely on audience participationin a theater with less leg room than a Greyhound bus. Watching volunteers grunt and crawl overall the unfortunates in their row provided far more entertainment than occurred onstage. I onlyhope the mentalist wasn't reading my mind.