Wednesday, May 2, 2018

REVIEW: The Rosenkranz Mysteries: MAGICIAN/PHYSICIAN

A couple of weeks ago, we had the pleasure of attending a magic show at the Royal George Theatre.

Titled The Rosenkranz Mysteries, the show features physician turned magician Ricardo Rosenkranz as a magician/philosopher.  Interspersed between tricks of mentalism, magic, and historic spiritualism, Dr. Rosenkranz expounds on ideas of magic, health, and healing.

There's nothing earth shattering about what he does but he does it well, and it was pretty fun.  We went with a friend of mine who is also a physician and his son, and we all were very entertained.

 Rosenkranz has been a doctor for over 20 years and has been practicing magic at least that long.  He's achieved some pretty good accomplishments in both fields, currently serving as a faculty member at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine.  In the magic field, he has performed on Penn and Teller's television show Fool Us, as well as performed a run at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles.

Rosenkranz is very professional, and his routines are well thought out and mystifying.  They all go very smoothly.  Most of the tricks seem to be classic tricks that one would expect in a parlor show. drawing from different branches of magic, including card magic, spiritualism, mentalism, and other disciplines. There's a bit with a skull that's a lot of fun, and he does use some audience members as volunteers, so beware.

The program shows that he has studied with and consulted with a couple of the top magicians in the world about these tricks, including Eugene Burger, Jeff McBridge, and Johnny Thompson, and their tutelage shows.  The magic is all superbly performed and well thought out.

I also really love the idea of magic and science (or medicine) being linked.  Arthur C. Clarke once wrote "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic to the uninitiated." And one of Rosenkranz's heroes once squelched a revolt by passing off electromagnetism as magic.

And I really like what Rosenkranz wrote on his website talking about the intertwined nature of medicine and magic, being like the caduceus (the image of two snakes around a rod that now symbolizes medicine in the United States.)

Some photos from the show: (provided by the Rosenkranz Mysteries website)

 If I were being asked about his show, my only real suggestion from a theatrical point of view is that the pace and rhythm of the whole show are very similar. 

Rosenkranz is level-headed, good-natured, soft-spoken, and quite reasonable-- all befitting a doctor of his level. 

I'd like to see some changes to his speaking rhythm and to the rhythm/pace of the show, so that not every trick was punctuated by talking, and that Rosenkranz veers away from "I will show you something amazing" to his actually being amazed.

 He talks about amazement and wonder a lot in his show, but I would like to see him being amazed as well.

It's a small criticism, and I don't think that most people would notice, but I think that it could take the show from being an 8.5 to a 9.3.

The show has been selling quite well, and in fact, has now been extended through May 27.  To get your tickets,  Click here for or call The Royal George Ticket Office (312) 988-9000.  Tickets for the show are $50-$75 at the Royal George Theatre Cabaret, and discounts can be had often on

Find out more about the show at

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