July 24, 2013

Feeling Fringy - Wonderfully Amusing

Fact: In 1983, I was hauled up on the stage of a magic show to have swords stuck through my neck.
Fact: Thirty years later, I found myself on the stage of a magic show, this time to participate in a little “arts & crafts” segment.
Fact: Both experiences were equally thrilling and both left me without a shred of a clue as to how the tricks were performed.

Last week, the Mascot and I had the pleasure of seeing the Fringe show “Wonderfully Amusing” at the John Hirsch Theatre. Did it live up to its name? Absolutely. The show was funny, clever, fast-moving (but not too fast-moving), and hugely entertaining. Comedian Matt Falk and Magician Chris Funk were hilarious and engaging and well-deserving of their standing ovation.

I was amazed by everything I saw, but the Mascot played it cool for a couple of tricks that he claimed to know how to do. (There were a few, though, that I could tell kinda blew his mind, which, to me, was worth the $10 that it cost to get in.) There were a few card tricks, a little slight-of-hand, some mind-reading, and lots of audience participation. Although no rabbits were pulled from hats, there was a bowling ball dropped from a sketchpad...

Our review: 4 big, enthusiastic thumbs up!

Free Press Review
FP Rating: ****
Average Reader Rating: ****1/2
Calling your show Wonderfully Amusing can be considered risky or cocky. Thankfully, comedian Matt Falk and magician Chris Funk are pretty much right on the money with the title of their 75-minute production.
The likeable pair play off each other like skilled veterans and both local performers get a fair share of laughs. There is plenty of audience participation during the illusions and no seat is safe if you want to avoid getting on stage.
Some highlights include a variation of Russian roulette, an arts and crafts segment, a bit of sleight of hand with a 10-dollar bill that is almost better in slow motion and a grand finale that earned them a well-deserved standing ovation on opening night.
And, of course, there are some card tricks, because what would a magic show be without a card trick? Funk asked. “Original,” Falk deadpanned.
Wonderfully Amusing is entirely entertaining.
— Rob Williams

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