Renowned mentalist bends spoons and reads minds while sharing tales of his mysterious predecessors--genuine intuitives and successful fakes alike. Forgoing Vegas-style spectacle, Christopher Carter stands a few feet from the audience, giving us close-up views of pockets, sleeves, and other potential sleight of hand hiding places. He further disarms by acknowledging his imperfections, missing a few tricks and revealing some of his secrets. Then, out of nowhere, he correctly guesses an audience member's phone number and shoe size. Cynics will look for the gimmick. After seeing his show a year ago, I was ready this time to follow people out afterward and discover whether they were plants. But Carter did something unexpected: with silver dollars duct-taped over his eyes under a four-layer blindfold, he held a crumpled index card I'd submitted and called out my name (married name, not byline), astrological sign, and an important date in my life that even my husband didn't know. Suffice it to say, I'm now a believer. Live Bait Theater, 3914 N. Clark, 773-388-0730. Through July 21: Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 PM; Sundays, 2:30 PM; no shows July 4-7. $20.