Acclaimed downtown theatre company The Talking Band returns to La MaMa E.T.C. (74 East 4th Street) this fall with RADNEVSKY'S REAL MAGIC -- a magical new play by Paul Zimet and Peter Samelson about a master illusionist returning to the stage after almost thirty years out of the limelight -- with previews set to begin October 9, prior to its official press opening October 11. Paul Zimet is set to direct.
RADNEVSKY'S REAL MAGIC follows the comeback of legendary underground magician The Great Radnevsky (portrayed by Peter Samelson) who returns to the New York stage, following an absence of nearly three decades, with a never-before-seen magic show. RADNEVSKY'S REAL MAGIC blends the avant-garde theatrics of The Talking Band with The Great Radnevsky's masterful talents, as he weaves a captivating web of stories within stories -- complete with stunning and confounding illusion.
Joining The Great Radnevsky is Harry Telkhines (portrayed by Dennis Kyriakos), Radnevsky's protégé and a rising talent in the world of magic. Together, the two magicians perform a dazzlingly intricate narrative, full of both innovative and classic magical illusion, in a piece that blurs the lines of performance and reality.
The cast of RADNEVSKY'S REAL MAGIC includes Peter Samelson, Dennis Kyriakos and Luke Gopnik.
RADNEVSKY'S REAL MAGIC was created by Peter Samelson and Paul Zimet. The production features text, story and direction by Paul Zimet; original magic by Peter Samelson, with additional magic by Dennis Kyriakos, Imam and Jim Steinmeier; original music by Ellen Maddow (DELICIOUS RIVERS, PAINTED SNAKE IN A PAINTED CHAIR); set design by Anna Kiraly (FLIP SIDE, THE NECKLACE, CHEKHOV LIZARDBRAIN); lighting design by Nan Zhang; and costume design by Kiki Smith.
As a playwright and director, Paul Zimet's credits include IMMINENCE, BELIZE, THE PARROT, STAR MESSENGERS, BITTERROOT, PARTY TIME, BLACK MILK QUARTET and NEW CITIES. He also wrote SHADOW PASSPORTS and BONE ROOM, Episodes 2 and 8 of The Talking Band's serial mystery drama THE NECKLACE. He received a 2003 Village Voice OBIE Award for his direction of The Talking Band production of PAINTED SNAKE IN A PAINTED CHAIR by Ellen Maddow, and also three OBIE awards for his work with the Open Theater and the Winter Project, both directed by Joseph Chaikin. Paul Zimet is the Artistic Director of The Talking Band.
Master illusionist Paul Samelson, christened "the soft-spoken conceptualist of sorcery" by The New York Times, is best known for his one-man Off-Broadway shows THE MAGICIAN and PAPERWORK. He has distinguished himself not only as a magician, but as an artist. Samelson has performed throughout the United States and internationally from Kenya to The Magic Castle, from TV to trade shows, from college campuses to commercials, the New York stage, night clubs, and celebrity events. He produced MONDAY NIGHT MAGIC, Off-Broadway's longest-running magic show. In addition to collaborations with The Talking Band and Mabou Mines ("Dead End Kids"), Samelson's credits include the musical HOUDINI; the films "What About Bob?" and "Whispers in the Dark"; a Kraft Salad Dressing commercial; the host of a syndicated 13-part magic series; and appearances on "The Today Show," CNN's "Sonya Live," and the PBS special "The Art of Magic."
Actor and magician Dennis Kyriakos appeared regularly at MONDAY NIGHT MAGIC. He has appeared in more than thirty theatrical productions. Most notably, he brought magic to the stage of The Classic Theatre of Harlem's production of Anton Chekhov's THE CHERRY ORCHARD.
The Talking Band was founded in 1974 by Ellen Maddow, Tina Shepard, and Paul Zimet, former members of Joseph Chaikin's Open Theater. Since its beginnings, the company has produced over forty new works for the theater which illuminate the extraordinary aspects of ordinary life through the fusion of language, music, and visual imagery. Collectively, the founders have earned 11 OBIE awards recognizing their work. The Talking Band has performed at nearly all of New York's celebrated experimental theater venues, including LaMama ETC, the Ohio Theater, The Flea Theater, PS 122, DTW, and HERE Arts Center. They have toured extensively in the United States, as well as 14 countries internationally. The company also runs The Talking Band Performance Lab for both emerging and established performing artists.