WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP | The Mentalists Sean-Paul and Juliane stunned the audience at the Porter County Fair on Thursday evening as they took a member of the audience, blindfolded him, and then somehow poked him on the back of each shoulder by putting a pin in a voodoo doll.
Afterward, that audience member, Brandon Welshan, of Portage, said he was not a believer in voodoo, but believed the duo was good at their craft.
“I think they’re very good magicians and very entertaining. They’re really good at it,” Welshan said.
The Mentalists act, which also involved card tricks and number tricks that seemed as if Sean-Paul and Juliane were reading the minds of the audience, as well as spoon bending and correctly guessing imagined images and words on the page of a book, was one of the many new free shows at the fair this year.
Others included Divas Through the Decades, the Okee Dokee Brothers and Galaxy Girl, to name a few.
The Okee Dokee Brothers, a countrified They Might Be Giants-like band, had people in the bleachers stomping their feet despite a light sprinkle of rain.
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“Instead of clapping at this point, we’re going to slap our knees like hillbillies,” said Joe, the guitarist of the band who was accompanied by banjo-playing Justin.
Songs like "Bluegrass for Breakfast," "Water Balloon" and "Auctioneer" had the audience dancing and singing lyrics like “twang-kle twang-kle little guitar.”
Divas Through the Decades featured three women in fluorescent-fringed frocks with jazz hands who sang perfect harmonies.
Tunes like "Can’t Hurry Love" and "God Bless the USA" were boot tappers, but "Man! I Feel Like A Woman" brought down the house when audience member Dan Millette, of St. John, joined the trio onstage to dance while he donned a cowboy hat and pink feather boa.
For Mavis Hernandez, of Hammond, who came to see The Mentalists with her husband, the show was better than anything they had ever seen.
“It was mind-blowing. We see a lot of shows and mentalists in Las Vegas because we go there a lot, but they were much better. They should perform in Vegas,” Hernandez said.