Victoria Fringe Festival 2017 – The Mystery Wonder Show
Review by Tony Carter – Showbill.ca Staff Writer
August 29, 2017
The Mystery Wonder Show is a magical musical mime routine and a charming Charlie Chaplin homage.
The show follows a hapless, down-on-his-luck magician from the moment he wakes up on a park bench through to a failed audition, a job as a waiter, and a venture into busking. An amusing use of props and energetic musical accompaniment really works to fill what would otherwise be a pretty empty stage.
Right off the top, Ron Peterson (the hapless and down-on-his-luck magician) and Erik Mortimer (the composer and pianist for the act) have seriously put the work into emulating Chaplin’s aesthetic. Emulation, not replication. There is an important distinction there since some minor changes have been made to carry said aesthetic from the big screen back to its vaudevillian roots on the stage. Gags that would originally have been played up are much more subtle, which is much more fitting for the intimacy of a Fringe venue.
The magic in the Mystery Wonder Show is for the most part nothing that the audience will not have seen before elsewhere, but that doesn’t make its execution any less fun. The dated nature of most of the tricks completes Peterson’s character and reinforces the aesthetic. The few tricks that do wow will certainly impress, but those aren’t the focal point of the performance. The show is funny, but it’s also relaxing. Sometimes it’s nice just to enjoy a low-key laugh.
The Mystery Wonder Show is an undeniably fun experience. It somehow manages to feel vintage and delightfully refreshing at the same time.
The Mystery Wonder Show
Ron Pearson Magic
Created by Ron Pearson
Victoria Fringe Festival
Venue 8 (St. Andrew’s Kirk Hall)
- Aug 29 @ 5:15pm
- Aug 31 @ 7:45pm
- Sept 1 @ 10:00pm
- Sept 2 @ 7:00pm
- Sept 3 @ 1:45pm