Shock & Awe Productions



By Gil Kofman




Altered Stages

212 W. 29th St, New York

Tickets: (212) 352-3101 or


May 2 through June 8


Directed by Matthew Wilder

Lighting Design by Brian Lilienthal

Sound Design by Leon Rothenberg

Set Design by Jeremiah Thies

Costume Design by Antonio Carew-Watts

Stage Managed by Brett Jacobs

Original Music by Lee Ranaldo

Publicity by OPR/Origlio Public Relations



Lindsay Rose Kane, Walter Murray, Sonny Perez, Indrajit Sarkar

And Richard Foreman as the voice of the President

Now, AMERICAN MAGIC ranks among the weirdest productions I have attended, and with the volume of plays I have witnessed over the years, that is saying a lot. What differs with AMERICAN MAGIC is that the subject matter is rather timely, but the rendering is unexpectedly and absolutely off the wall.

What begins with a bad mind reading performance, and almost immediately evolves into a wrongful imprisonment by a U.S. government plagued by terrorism, quickly turns into an SM, brutal, serio-comic examination of foreign and domestic policy that gets lost and found and lost and found in the maelstrom of torture, violence, sex and manipulation. Exploiting a climate in which unchecked xenophobia can quickly go horribly and viciously awry, AMERICAN MAGIC exists as a testimony to the way in which the post-9/11 United States has perhaps gone on the offensive and become less the land of the free and more the home of the brave.

The cast keeps up with the frenetic pace of Matthew Wilder’s direction, and with the tone of Gil Kofman’s dark script, but everyone would have been well served if a quarter hour or so had been lobbed off, or at least tightened up. However, as teamed with the moody lighting, an urban apocalypse of a set, and the dominatrix wardrobe afforded Ms. Kane as a character simply called Woman, at least the look and tone are always right on.

AMERICAN MAGIC, with its dark current and bleak message will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it does at least have a sense of humor about itself. I neither loved nor hated this play, but my best advice about whether or not to attend would have to be "suit yourself."

- Kessa De Santis -