Final Bow: Derek DelGaudio Closes the Book on In & Of Itself
The magical solo show will never be seen again after its final performance at the Daryl Roth Theatre.
For nearly a year and a half, Derek DelGaudio has been delivering a new kind of magic to audiences at the Daryl Roth Theatre with In & Of Itself. Blending sleight of hand with personal memoir, the solo show leaves people questioning the nature of identity while they wonder how a gold brick teleported to a randomly chosen New York City street corner. DelGaudio retires the show for good after his final off-Broadway performance on August 19, but before he packs up his deck of "I AM" cards, we asked him to share some of the run's most magical moments — and maybe a few secrets.
1. What is your favorite line that you get to say?
"In a few moments, all of this is going to end for all of them. And, whether they know it or not, when this ends they will have decided what this is. They will have decided what I am. But not you. For you this is going to remain a mystery a bit longer. And this story can be whatever you want it to be."
2. Everyone loves inside jokes. What is the best one from your show?
The show is extremely stressful for our crew. Mostly because they feel a great deal of responsibility to protect the integrity of the show. And that means protecting its secrets. As a result, at one point or another, everyone on our team has had a dream/nightmare that involves them hopelessly trying to prevent the audience from seeing things they shouldn't be seeing.
3. Every show experiences technical difficulties. What was the worst technical difficulty experienced during your show and how was it handled?
At one point in every show I hand the stage over to someone who was there the day before. One day, I handed the stage over to a young lady and she proceeded to invite her twin sister to join her. The two of them proceeded to perform a musical number on my stage. It was 10 minutes of singing and dancing, something straight out of Waiting for Guffman. There was nothing anyone could do but watch in horror.
4. What was the most "interesting" present someone gave you at the stage door?
A masseuse was so moved by the show she volunteered to give our entire crew massages. I did not partake, but our crew loved it.
5. Who is the coolest person that came to see your show? (You can't say your family!)
Tommie Smith, the Olympic athlete who raised his fist at the 1968 Olympics.
6. Throughout the run of In & Of Itself, you've surprised a lot of audience members with letters written by close friends or family members. What's the best reaction you remember getting to one of those letters?
A man chose an envelope that said "Father." I asked him if he had a Father. He said "No." He opened the letter and proceed to become emotional. I asked him who it was from. He replied, "It's from my father-in-law..." He looked up from the letter with tears in his eyes and corrected himself, "It's from my father."
7. At every show, you find a volunteer to leave the theater early and return the next day having written an imagined ending for the show. What's the most creative entry in the book that houses all of those endings?
See answer to question 3.
8. I know you can't divulge the secrets of the brick that magically appears on street corners throughout New York City. But what can you tell us about the brick/s? (e.g. How many are there? What happens to them after every show?...)
The bricks are kept in a safe in the Daryl Roth Theatre. There is one for every show. In total, about 600 bricks have appeared around NYC.
9. Of all the "I AM" cards you have in your show, which would you choose for yourself, and why?
I choose the same card every day. It's the only card not on the wall. Someday I'll reveal what that card says. But not before the show ends.
10. Why have you decided to retire In & Of Itself instead of taking it to other venues?
The only way to finish saying what I want to say with this show is to end it.