Review: ‘Long Island Medium’ Theresa Caputo connects crowd at F.M. Kirby Center to deceased loved ones
WILKES-BARRE — Patrons packed the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts with mementos of their loved ones, hoping the photos, jewelry and trinkets would trigger something in “Long Island Medium” Theresa Caputo that would make her pick them from the crowd.
Caputo spoke to audience members on the floor and in the balcony during her roughly two-hour “Theresa Caputo Live! The Experience” show, but not all of them were as willing to speak as were their relatives on the other side.
At the beginning of the show, Caputo told her story — she has seen spirits since she was 4 and, by the time she reached her 20s, she was comfortable sharing that gift with others. She stopped a few times during her opening monologue to work the crowd like a stand-up comedian, a trait that spoke to her experience as a performer.
After Caputo’s introduction, she stepped down from the stage to begin her readings — that’s the moment she started giving microphones to people, inviting them directly into the show and making the success of the show as dependent on their public speaking and willingness to cooperate as her established star power.
Caputo approached a woman seated near the front of the venue who recently lost her brother, giving her details about the deceased. The woman’s mother, seated next to her, seemed to either be skeptical of Caputo or nervous about sharing her personal life with the room.
Both seemed visibly shaken by the time their reading was finished, and their emotional reaction was strong enough to affect me as I watched the on-stage screen. The balcony had an obstructed view while Caputo moved around downstairs, but a small live crew made sure all happenings were broadcast onto a large projector screen visible throughout the venue.
The readings were moving along well and Caputo found talkative, willing participants until she made her way to the back of the auditorium where she encountered something “horrific” that she said was unique. The person in question stood, but seemed unwilling to speak about the incident in front of a capacity crowd. Caputo tried to put her at ease with details, but they didn’t do much — the answers were short and, at one point, the host was convinced she had encountered a skeptic, but the look on the woman’s face told a different story.
After that, the show took on a different atmosphere. I’m not attempting to debunk the medium, but whether it was the intense nature of the event or the unwilling participant in the reading, Caputo seemed distracted and her statements became less specific and more general. She made her way to the balcony soon after that, speaking to a man who lost a lover and another who lost a mother. The latter, Scott O’Rourke, made the two-hour drive from Hackettstown, N.J. to to see Caputo.
“I was really grateful she came through with my mom,” O’Rourke said. “She validated that I was wearing her ring. My mom just recently passed … I understand what she said, so I can move forward with my life.”
Caputo ended the show strong, making her way back to the stage and talking to two sisters who hold a softball game to honor their mother — she even referenced the third sister and her serious relationship. The idea of belief or skepticism aside, those young women had a look of relief and peace on their faces after Caputo chose them. O’Rourke said he was able to move forward after Caputo picked him out and spoke to him.
And that’s why what she packs venues like the Kirby Center.
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLArts