Frankly, I need a thesaurus to describe Joe Diamond and his incredible shows. Diamond has been labeled a dream interpreter, mystic, mind reader, illusionist, magician – and he just continues to successfully reinvent himself.
His success and popularity are due to many things, not least of all his sincerity, sense of humor (“Diamond stands for rare and unique, Joe for average”), theatricality and skills. And on top of it all, he’s a very nice man.
Diamond’s home base is Studio 215 at Crystal Lake’s Dole Mansion, but with livestreaming, he’s been seen all over the world.
Before COVID, he was a regular at the Chicago Magic Lounge, Maxwell Mansion, Tristan Crist Magic Theatre, Red Oak, and who can forget those infamous blindfolded car drives around the Woodstock Square? Diamond was even contacted by the Pentagon after unlocking an iPhone password live on air on 95 WIIL Rock radio. (And Diamond has a great story to share about that in his show.)
With Diamond’s new show, “Para/Psychology: An Interactive Psychic Experience,” you are sent an explanatory email with a list of things you’ll need for the virtual event – simple items including pen, sheet of paper, smart phone, pendulum (weight at the end of a cord), a paperback book, and a deck of cards with no jokers. Each show is limited to 13 participants.
If you sign in early (and I hope you do), you’ll be treated to bonus video footage and some tongue-in-cheek music (“I can read your mind – eye in the sky”). But then Diamond appears with some housekeeping tips and after nine months on Zoom, he’s got it all down to a T, which makes it easy for all participants no matter your Zoom expertise.
The show is a well-paced, professional, absorbing, totally engaging one hour. There are roughly 11 illusions or experiences; some events Diamond picks a participant for, others the entire audience is involved with. I naturally have my favorites: the paperback book word mind read, anything with the playing cards, and, of course, the iPhone pin code mystery – but it’s all pretty amazing.
Although an in-person, live show/live audience experience is missing, one of the advantages to the 13-participant screens is the ability to be up close and personal, and to see the immediate reactions of everyone from Wonder Lake to Louisville – and it’s mostly of incredulity. I’m under Diamond’s spell, and I predict you will be, too.
• Regina Belt-Daniels hopes 2021 brings a return to all the things she loves best: acting, directing, teaching, traveling with her husband, reviewing, and continued theater board work.
IF YOU VIEW
WHAT: Joe Diamond’s virtual “Para/Psychology: An Interactive Psychic Experience”
WHEN: 7 p.m. every Friday through April
COST: $25 per household; recommended for ages 10 and older; limited to 13 participants per show