Theresa Caputo, star of TLC’s hit series Long Island Medium, took the stage on Saturday, Nov. 3 in Milwaukee for two sold-out performances at The Riverside Theatre. The evening show was comprised mostly of women age 40 to 60 —mothers and daughters, sisters, best friends — who greeted Theresa with a big Milwaukee welcome, hooting and applauding as she entered. The 2,500-seat theater was filled with anticipation as Theresa began to run down the format of the show. She described the format correctly when she said it’s mostly her “flying by the seat of my pants.” And then joked in her familiar Long Island style, “or as my kids would say — my broom.”
And that said, she began a two-hour session that started with her thanking her fans for their thoughts and prayers for her and her family in the recent aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and the devastation the storm left on her home state of New Jersey. She shared that only three homes on her block didn’t have damage and her home was one of them —perhaps the workings of some divine intervention.
The stage consisted of a jumbo-sized TV screen, a black leather-back stool (which she never even came close to using) and a round side table with a vase of white roses atop. She gave a quick rundown of the show’s format, which really would be led by spirit. She explained how she wouldn’t be on the stage but rather walking the theater aisles calling on audience members as spirit directs. Cameras would follow her every move capturing the people she is talking to, as well as their reactions on the jumbo screen on stage. Microphones were handed to the people Theresa interacted with, where Theresa clearly explained that those individuals would need to do their part, as well, talking loudly and clearly into the microphone so that she didn’t have to waste time repeating things. She also set some ground rules, asking audience members not to shout out from the balcony while she’s connecting with spirit. I was in the upper balcony, so the disappointment from fans in the nose-bleed seats was evident as they slowly realized there was no way Theresa was ever going to make it up to the top tier in her three-inch silver-glittered heels and sequined blue dress.
She made no promises on what to expect. The only thing she told audiences members that they could expect was that her nails would be done, she’d have a great dress and some great shoes too. A big Milwaukee applause and hoots followed that remark. As for dealing with skeptics, she said she gets it. “This is frickin’ crazy!” she acknowledged.
“I really don’t care if you believe in what I do, and I don’t mean to be rude,” she told the audience. “I’m simply here to be that vessel so you can see there’s more to life.”
“People ask me all the time ‘Do you believe in God? Do you believe in heaven,” Theresa shared. “I do believe in God. I am a practicing Catholic. I give very nicely to my church. They take my money every week even though they don’t believe in what I do.” The crowd roared with laughter and applause. “It is what it is,” she shrugged. But Theresa went on to explain that this wasn’t about one’s religious beliefs — Catholic, Jew, Protestant, atheist, whatever — this was about the “experience.”
“I cannot read each and everyone one of you, it’s physically impossible,” Theresa admitted. But she didn’t want audience members to think or walk away believing, “Oh my mother didn’t come through, I knew my mother was mad at me” or “Oh, my father must not have loved me as much as I thought he did because he didn’t come through.”
“It has nothing to do that,” she said. “You will witness tonight why someone might be receiving a message [over you].”
That started the explanation on the whole “piggybacking” philosophy – a topic she’s discussed on her show —where multiple spirits glam on to the one spirit connecting with Theresa in hopes of getting their message through too. Think of piggybacking as if you were waiting in line to buy a concert ticket and your friends in the back of the line spotted you and came forward asking you to buy their tickets. Once you got to the ticket broker they start shouting their requests — no aisle seat, balcony only — and you are simply repeating what they said.
“My wish for each and everyone of you is if you do not receive a direct message from spirit, then you hear something or feel something or witness something that will validate for you that there is more to life,” she said.
With that said, she told the audience to relax, enjoy and embrace the amazing gifts about to be given. And then the “crazy” began.
Who died in a tragedy? she blurted and paced the front row. She connected with a woman in her late 40s maybe mid 50s whose mother had died. Theresa told her that her mother was saying: “Can you believe this is how I died?” She told the woman her mother was at peace and she never really saw it coming (we learn that the deceased was hit by a car).
Who lost a son? A mother, father and sister were in the front row and were completely shattered about their loss and the connection that was about to be made. Theresa could see this and spent considerable time with them, and it was the most moving connection of the evening. Theresa told them their son said: “I didn’t think I was really going to die.” We learn the spirit is a young man named Josh, who took his own life just four months ago. “It was not something well calculated … he just snapped.” Theresa asked them if they hear him talking to them. The mother said she still says, “I love you Josh,” and she hears back “I love you too.” Theresa next asked if they just wore a piece of his clothing. The father sobbed stating he just wore his son’s coat that day. “His soul was with you,” Theresa told him. Theresa asked why Josh would be talking about his handwriting and that he said “she’ll show it to you.” Josh’s sister pulled back her shirt and showed his handwritten signature tattooed on her upper chest. At the end of the exchange, the father followed Theresa and gave her a hug, thanking her repeatedly.
“Just don’t make me cry,” Theresa said. “That’s the hardest thing as a medium, placing all my emotions on the side. How amazing is that gift that was just given to them!”
Who had the daughter that died? Theresa said she felt a blow to the head. She finds the mother and learns the daughter died of brain cancer and makes a connection for her.
Who is the woman who lost her son at birth? She finds a mother who actually lost two sons. “Who is Steven,” Theresa asked. We learn it’s the woman’s husband (although not in attendance), who was able to hold the son, where the mother never got the chance.
Who has the old watch with the face cracked? A 40-something-year-old man, with his mother, stood and Theresa acknowledged that it was their father/husband coming through. “Did you just have eye surgery?” Theresa asked the mother. She explained it was her husband’s way of knowing that he knew she was afraid to go to the doctor and that this was something she needed to have done and could prevent (by the way, the woman was not wearing an eye patch). “Your dad is very proud of you,” Theresa told the son. “Did you just write something about your dad? Was it three pages?” He confirmed it was.
Who has something with a pinky ring …or a ring that doesn’t go down all the way? Two sisters attending the event had gone shopping for pinky rings before the show and made a connection.
Who has the pocketbook? “Her items are still in there,” Theresa searched. This one took a few minutes, mainly because the majority of Wisconsinites don’t call a pocketbook a pocketbook but rather a purse and the woman waiving and claiming it was her connection was seated in one of the upper levels. Theresa told her she’s not coming up all the way up there but met her halfway. Theresa asked about the coin collection and the woman had brought that too.
Theresa went on to make connections for a mother whose teenager was killed in a car accident, a woman whose husband died three days after she learned she was pregnant (she is due in three weeks), and she found the woman who could connect with the number 42 and a the woman who brought fingerprints in plaster to the show.
While some of the questions were broad in scope and could easily be generalized, there were other examples of detailed descriptors. When she connected with one mother who lost her child, she asked the woman why would her son’s spirit keep pulling on his ear, what could be wrong with his ear. The mother explained that he was born with an elf-like looking ear. She then asked what the significance of playground equipment was? The audience member said they had purchased new playground equipment for her departed son’s school.
After both shows a limited number of VIP ticket holders (tickets priced around $125) were able to take part in a meet and greet, where they received autographed photos of Theresa and had the opportunity to take personal photos with Theresa and Larry (Larry was only backstage in Milwaukee).