Stalker: Magical, mind-bending fun you have to see to believe

Peter Brynolf & Jonas Ljung in "Stalke"r at New World Stages in New York City.
Peter Brynolf & Jonas Ljung in “Stalke”r at New World Stages in New York City.
Photo by Jeremy Daniel

As New Yorkers, we’re so lucky to have access to experience so many live performances. From big, roaring musicals to uplifting kids’ theater, there is something for everyone.  Recently, I enjoyed a hybrid show/magical experience that both “wow-ed” and astonished me called Stalker.

Held at New World Stages, Stalker was created by Swedish street magicians and illusionists Peter Brynolf and Jonas Ljung who famously stumped Penn & Teller on their show, Penn & Teller: Fool Us!

Upon arrival, audience members were immersed in the world of Stalker where you will see a large board filled with red string and newspaper images as well as a collection of letters on a screen, prompting audience members to come on the stage to take polaroids. These images were then placed on a massive board that eventually became a part of the show.

Once the lights went out, audience members were propelled into a world of the unknown as the witty duo took to the stage. With a mix of intrigue and magic, Brynolf and Ljung’s interactive show featured a mix of audience mentalism and illusions through mind-bending interactive games and stunning feats. 

Photo by Jeremy Daniel

To my surprise, I was even involved in the show after writing down some basic information on a note card that included my phone number, personality traits, and the name of the person I spoke with. After Ljung asked an audience member to pick a card, I, along with some other audience members, were asked to stay standing. After he looked around some more, myself and other audience members were asked to turn up our cell phones, and incredibly, my phone rang. From there, Brynolf asked me if the person I was with was on the card where he guessed my friend’s name and wrote it out on a whiteboard. My friend and I were in complete shock as I kept thinking over and over: ‘how did they do that?’

The entire show followed a mind-bending exploration of how? How was anything that they were doing in front of our eyes actually happening? It all seemed so impossible, and yet, Brynolf and Ljung demonstrated that the impossible is possible. Watching the various games and skits play out, it felt as if Brynolf and Ljung had direct access to the audience members’ minds, which they later revealed may be a combination of “stalker” tactics where no one is hidden. As they said, “Everyone is being stalked, and everyone has become a stalker.” They partially demonstrate this in a stunning climactic plot twist that is both surprisingly and completely unbelievable. However, even as the sequencing is revealed, I was left with so many unanswered questions while still being in awe, which lies the magic of this special show.

Audience members participate in "Stalker."
Audience members participate in “Stalker.”Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Featuring a combination of street magic, stunning illusions, physical mentalism, and shock/awe, Stalker is a fun date night, night out with friends, or an outing with your teen that will have you questioning – and mystified – by what you just watched.  It’s spectacular, entertaining, and nothing you’ve ever seen before.

Stalker is playing at the New World Stages (340 West 50th Street) until September. Tickets are on sale at Telecharge.com