Inside the Memory Palace… of Vinny DePonto @ the Geffen

“Mindplay,” created and performed by Vinny DePonto, is a tantalizing production from the esteemed Geffen playhouse.  “Vanishing Vinny,” as he was famously known in his hometown of Dobbs Ferry, New York, is a mentalist, not only a talented writer, but a dynamic performer.  Upon entering the theatre, the audience receives a slip of paper, asking, basically, “a penny for one’s thoughts. “ (or a five dollar bill, as the case may be .)  As I entered the theatre, I thought about what I should jot down, what keeps me up at night.  Then I noticed a sparse set, including a night table and corded phone that rings incessantly throughout the show.  An audience member is highlighted by a spotlight, who is encouraged by an unknown voice in the background to introduce the show’s star, DePonto.  Vinny is smooth as silk velvet as he proceeds to choose audience interaction, reading their minds and even transferring thoughts from one to another.  One amazing scene involves a giant bank deposit box with a life of its own.  “Mindplay” is a visual , auditory, mental spectacle that’s sure to bedazzle, involve, and leave you feeling uplifted, and connected to those around you, almost in a metaphysical way.  One will be more prepared to deal with the miasma of ideas that constantly flood our brains.  “Vanishing Vinny” grew up in the idyllic hamlet of Dobbs Ferry, on the Hudson River, and did magic shows and tricks, which he developed and honed, and made his way, ultimately to the stage of the prestigious Geffen in Los Angeles.  His picture on the playbill says it all.  Very intense and riveting, leading you to believe you are in for a literally transformative evening, which might just change your life for the good.  I certainly felt that way.  Take the journey. You will not be sorry.  DePonto wrote “Mindplay” with Josh Koenigsberg, directed by Andrew Neisler, and produced by Emmy and Tony award winning Eva Price.  All the backstage elements, lighting , music, sound effects, are immersive, and Geffen.’s high bar is yet again exceeded.  

*review, co written by Charles Prior


About Bonnie Priever Curtain Up!

I am a theatre reviewer extraordinairre. I attend and cover theatres ranging from large to small venues, and every subject from musical theatre to dramatic presentations. Also please check out my reviews at and my email is
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