Nothing on Earth Can Hold Houdini OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS


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Opening Night:
February 27, 2014
April 5, 2014

Theater: Axis Theatre / 1 Sheridan Square, New York, New York, 10014


Nothing on Earth Can Hold Houdini, written and directed by Randall Sharp, examines Houdini's driven crusade to expose fraudulent mediums and his crossing paths with the avid spiritualist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Both men are catapulted to the center of The Scientific American Magazine contest to find the first-ever provable clairvoyant, a battle that destroyed their friendship and left Houdini to continue his search for a true psychic to contact his mother. He was not successful.

  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Nothing on Earth Can Hold Houdini

    Supernatural? Magician Has Doubts

    Neil Genzlinger

    March 6, 2014: Harry Houdini was apparently a complex fellow, and the Axis Theater Company gives him a complex treatment in "Nothing on Earth Can Hold Houdini", by Randy Sharp. Like Ms. Sharp’s look at the Dust Bowl, "Last Man Club", produced by the company in 2012, it is a play that bracingly refuses to be a straightforward historical treatment. We get to see one of Houdini’s famous escape routines, but the play isn’t about his skills as a magician. The focus is his crusade to debunk mediums, a cause Houdini took up in the later years of his life. (He died in 1926 at 52.) He became well known for exposing the tricks used by spiritualists at séances and such, and he was a judge for a prize offered by Scientific American to anyone who could demonstrate undeniable psychic abilities.

  • THEATERMANIA REVIEW OF Nothing on Earth Can Hold Houdini

    Nothing on Earth (Can Hold Houdini)

    Hayley Levitt

    March 6, 2014: Harry Houdini is a character ripe for the stage. His wildly theatrical career as a magician, escape artist, and film actor offer a seemingly endless bounty of colorful stories just waiting to be given their proper dramatic flourish. Axis Theatre Artistic Director Randy Sharp has carved out Houdini's years as a spiritualist debunker for her world premiere production of Nothing on Earth (Can Hold Houdini) — perhaps the most peculiar of the master escapist's many professional endeavors. Yet, the story's inherent intrigue is lost in a haze of moving parts that never quite come together to make a coherent piece of theater.

  • THEATER PIZZAZZ REVIEW OF Nothing on Earth Can Hold Houdini

    Nothing on Earth (Can Hold Houdini)

    Joel Benjamin

    March 6, 2014: In the spiffily renovated space that used to house Charles Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company, the Axis Company is presenting Nothing on Earth (Can Hold Houdini) by Randall Sharp (who also directed and designed the bare but evocative set), an examination of Houdini’s anti-spiritualism campaign. The play pits Houdini, escape artist extraordinaire, against Arthur Conan Doyle, the Sherlock Holmes author. Doyle is a profound believer in séances as a means to commune with his late son. Houdini intends to prove him absolutely and completely wrong, taking advantage of a cash prize offered by Scientific American Magazine to the first scientifically proven clairvoyant.

  • SHOW BUSINESS WEEKLY REVIEW OF Nothing on Earth Can Hold Houdini

    “Nothing on Earth” written and directed by Randy Sharp

    Daniel Glenn

    March 4, 2014: A magician never reveals his secrets. But what happens when he goes on a personal crusade to expose the deception of others? Such is the premise of this new play, which follows Harry Houdini on his quest to debunk psychics and mediums. This play is based on a true story. Houdini first became involved with the Spiritualist craze when his mother died. She was very dear to him, and he attempted to get in touch with her through mediums. The deep hurt he felt when he discovered the tricks being played by these charlatans spurred him to throw back the curtain on all of them.

  • SHOW SHOWDOWN REVIEW OF Nothing on Earth Can Hold Houdini

    Nothing on Earth (Can Hold Houdini)

    Wendy Caster

    March 6, 2014: Axis Company's Nothing on Earth (Can Hold Houdini), written and directed by artistic director Randy Sharp, has all the ingredients of a fascinating and thought-provoking thriller. Harry Houdini! Arthur Conan Doyle! Seances! Con artists! Yet the show is remarkably uninteresting, with 75 minutes of confusing build-up and 10 minutes of cop-out denouement.



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