Photo: Matt Blickenstaff
Outside the Roberts Orpheum Theatre last night.
Missouri might be packed with Show-Me skeptics, but there weren't many in the audience last night at Lisa Williams
' psychic showcase at Roberts Orpheum Theatre.
Williams, a British clairvoyant and the star of two Lifetime shows, Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead and Lisa Williams: Voices from the Other Side, took to the stage to transmit messages from beyond to a few hundred willing recipients.
The crowd, many of them middle-aged women, was eager to hear from their dearly departed. A few in the audience even wept into crumpled Kleenex's before the show began. Williams walked onto the pink and periwinkle stage with a few instructions to help tune in the astral reception.
"It's a three-way conversation," Williams said. "The spirits talk, I talk and I would like you to talk as well."
Williams continued to transmit her tidbits until some in the audience reacted to a name, or an object or a particular ailment. She tossed psychic spaghetti until something stuck. Some cynics might call this cold reading, a method used by mentalists to gather information about a stranger by analyzing body language, or making logical assumptions based on a person's age, sex, or race.
Whether by hucksterism or holy happenstance, Williams homed in and invited the bereaved to a microphone for a more in-depth reading. The spirits were feeling sentimental, delivering messages of love, forgiveness, assurance and thanks.
It seemed the dead were as filled with cliché platitudes as the living. They even plug books. One poltergeist suggested, through Williams, that a participant pick up a copy of Brian Weiss's book on past lives, Many Masters, Many Lives
. After three readings, Williams picked up the names Peter and Paul, and then she sensed a racing accident, then a boating accident, and then a drowning.
A couple stood up, exclaiming their daughter had died from asphyxiation and that they had a deceased uncle named Skip, who had enjoyed boating, but had died from a heart attack. Close enough -- the pair was invited up for the night's final séance.
We prayed for this," they said. They stood with tortured expressions draped on their faces, waiting for some revelation about their daughter, but Williams could only divine that Skip liked to wear baseball caps.