Review of Forget Me Not at St. Louis Actors’ Studio

    Forget Me Not is a magic show. It is also a theater piece. The show is receiving an impressive world premiere at the Gaslight Theatre from St. Louis Actors’ Studio.

    The solo performer is Kyle Marlett, an American magician based in Los Angeles. His résumé includes television appearances on The Tonight Show, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Penn & Teller: Fool Us. Marlett is the co-writer and co-director of the show along with Gunnar Sizemore.

    What Marlett says in the show is as important as what he does. He reflects thoughtfully about the relationship between magic and lying, and he speaks affectingly about his life and difficult relationships with people close to him. He seems totally sincere, but is it prudent to believe someone whose livelihood depends on deceiving people?

    Marlett’s delivery is not stagy, but he is not simply bantering with the audience. His finely crafted stories create the context for his magic, which is the work of a master. Some of the illusions require volunteers. Marlett handles the interaction with the audience reassuringly.

    Upon entering the theater, everyone is asked to pick up a ball of yarn. One of the balls figures prominently in the astonishing final trick.

    Kyle Marlett designed the sound for the show, and Patrick Huber designed the lighting. The two collaborated on the set design, which surrounds the stage on three sides with corrugated paper boxes piled nearly to the ceiling.

    At strategic moments, similar boxes suspended from the ceiling drop to the floor with a thud. Happily, only the boxes produce a thud. The magic tricks produce amazement.

    —Gerry Kowarsky

    Photo by Patrick Huber