The Reel Review
Storyteller, magician and conceptional illlusionist Derek DelGaudio explores the concept of self identity in this transformative, 90 minute film of his popular New York City one man stage show, now exclusively on Hulu.
Directed by Frank Oz (Death at a Funeral, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), who has voiced a multitude of Muppets and Sesame Street characters over the years, and periodically incorporating a montage of footage from multiple show performances, In & Of Itself starts with audience members choosing cards from an “identity wall” with the one word or phrase that they feel best describes themselves. Those cards come back into play in the big finale of the show. Seeing celebrities such as Bill Gates and Project Runway‘s Tim Gunn, and their choice of words to describe themselves, makes this compelling film even more fascinating.
In & Of Itself is an exploration of the human desire to “be seen.” Starting with impressive, slight of hand card tricks and deeply personal anecdotes, DelGaudio then subtly and brilliantly reveals his resonant, empowering message of personal connection. It sparks awe, inspiration and lots of tears, both among audience members and us viewers. Regardless of “how” DelGaudio did it, the build-up and finale itself is a powerful punctuation to DelGaudio’s message and the magic that occurs when others recognize in us more than we sometimes see in ourselves.
• Stephen Colbert of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and his wife were executive producers of the documentary.
• Derek DelGaudio’s one man show debuted at Los Angeles’ Geffen Playhouse in 2016, before an off-Broadway 560 performance run in New York a year later.
• In 2014, DelGaudio was selected to be the Artist in Residence for Walt Disney Imagineering. He has also consulted on television and movie projects including The Carbonaro Effect and the 2006 mystery/thriller, The Prestige.
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