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Fringe Show Reviews

Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Houdini's Last Escape

Monster Theatre / Vancouver, BC

Posted: 07/7/2011 12:58 PM | Comments: 0

Last Modified: 07/14/2011 2:39 PM | Updates

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Planetarium Auditorium (Venue 10), to July 23

Harry Houdini could escape from chains, ropes and straitjackets, but this Vancouver company’s two-hander can’t escape from its weirdly oscillating tone, darting between broad comedy and the historic tragedy of the escape artist’s final curtain.

Writer-director Ryan Gladstone’s hour-long escapade does give actor-magician Christopher Bange opportunity to perform some standard stage illusion in the role of Houdini, although the dramatic buildup to a trick titled "The Transformation" inevitably results in disappointment. As Houdini’s wife Bess, Tara Travis contributes some nice comic moments, augmented by her formidable physical stature. (Did Mrs. Houdini really tower over her hubby?) Even so, the ungainly mix of comedy, drama and magic does not magically transform into a cohesive whole.

— Randall King

 

From the official Fringe Festival program:

Can Houdini, the greatest escape artist of all time, escape his own death?

"Not only one of the most deft pieces of physical comedy I've ever seen – it is as subtle as it is funny, and as literate as it is energetic and frantic!" 5 STARS – SEE Magazine

"Hilarious!" 5 STARS – Westender

"Clever, fast-paced and imaginative!" 5 STARS – Winnipeg Sun

http://www.monstertheatre.com/

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2309538854

Recommended For: General Audience

Length: 75 MIN

Tickets: $10

History

Updated on Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 2:39 PM CDT: Adds review

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