On Stage

Lon Cerel Makes Magic Happen on Stage

Rhode Island's own "Thief of Thoughts" performs the impossible at the Arctic Playhouse

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Magician and mentalist Lon Cerel has been practicing in RI for decades, using a mix of deductive reasoning and body language to pull material from audiences. “I’m able to tell people where they’ve been, things they’ve been doing,” he says. “It’s not sleight of hand; it’s picking up pieces of information and putting them together.” For this, he draws from his background in psychology as well as his own life experiences.

I got to see his skills in action when he preempted my questions like he’d seen my notebook. “You haven’t asked yet, but I’m sure you’ll get to it, ‘How often am I right?’” he asks. “About 85 to 87 percent of the time.” In other demonstrations, I pictured names and letters and he pulled them from my mind just as I thought them. In order for this to work, Lon says he needs participants to meet him halfway. “If you’re receptive, I can often get information from you,” he says. “But if you think that something is impossible, you’re already limiting yourself.”

His belief in performing the impossible defines his shows and his life in general, especially after a bout of cancer 11 years ago, the catalyst that pushed him to develop a mind-reading show. Audiences who want to engage in his incredible act can catch his regular performances at the Arctic Playhouse in West Warwick. “The magic is make-believe, the mind-reading is not, but they both deal with something that’s impossible,” says Lon. “But, if you eliminate the impossible, all that’s left – however improbable – has to be possible.”