“Stalker”:  honest to God, you won’t believe your eyes!

Peter Brynolf & Jonas Ljung are on stage with a blue behind them
Peter Brynolf & Jonas Ljung in STALKER at New World Stages in New York City © (Photo by Jeremy Daniel)
Jonas Ljung is on stage talking the the audience
Jonas Ljung in STALKER at New World Stages in New York City © (Photo by Jeremy Daniel)

Those familiar with Penn & Teller, the world-famous magicians, know of their TV series Fool Us. They challenge other magicians to perform their most confounding illusions in an attempt to mislead Penn & Teller about how the magic was done. Very few magicians have fooled Penn & Teller, but the Swedish magic team of Peter Brynolf and Jonas Ljung did.

Brynolf and Ljung now bring their magic act to the United States and off-Broadway’s New World Stages in Stalker, presented by — who else — Penn & Teller!

Stalker is a combination of sleight of hand, illusion, “street magic”, and mentalism that fills a fast-paced 90 minutes. It leaves you wondering, again and again, “How did they do that?” or, sometimes, “How in hell could they have done that?”

But magicians never reveal their secrets — except for one revealed by Brynof and Ljung at the very end of the show.

While a little stiff in the patter department at the start of the show, Brynof and Ljung soon settle into a smooth routine. They encourage audience members to volunteer before the show starts, creating a pool of 25 volunteers with whom they perform their magic throughout the show. I hesitate to describe any of their magical stunts for fear of spoiling the surprise for you, but I will mention one with a volunteer’s vanishing cell phone and a cake with an unusual topping.

For those who like magic, and for those who take pleasure in being fooled in style, I  recommend seeing Stalker before its limited engagement ends.

Stalker is presented at the New World Stages/Stage 3 through Sept. 1, 2024. For more information, or to get tickets, go to stalkershow.com or call Telecharge at 212-239-6200.

Allen Neuner
Allen Neuner is the theater reviewer at Out in Jersey magazine. Jersey born and raised, Allen went to his first Broadway play in 1957 and has been deliriously in love with live theater ever since. Allen has been accepted into the American Theatre Critics Association, a professional organization of theatre journalists. He has been partnered to music reviewer Bill Realman Stella, with whom he is also deliriously in love, for over 20 years. They live in an over-cluttered house in Somerville.