Mosaic / Reviews / October 30, 2009

ShowOFF show starts off slow but still impresses

ShowOFF show is a two-man group composed of a Bristol, England clown-school attendee and a thin contortionist with a curly afro who met online and incorporated several shows into one. The performing duo, Jonathan and Evan, came to Knox on Oct. 24 to share their unique show. The show included magic tricks, contortion, juggling and jokes.

The show started off a little slow and awkward, with Evan simply juggling and then going off stage. Jonathan said a joke soon after and left.

The crowd was small, but seemed to get into the show. The tricks themselves were impressive; they knew just when to stop, so they ended on a good note, before they made a mistake. The one exception was in the very beginning when Evan was passing time before the show started. He twirled three drumsticks around each other and kept them going until he went behind the back. He dropped one behind his back about four times, even chasing one stick off stage.

Jonathan and Evan reveled the charm of the ShowOFF show once they got warmed up. I started to get the feeling that they were friends just goofing off in front of me. Jonathan also came out with arbitrary “pieces of advice” periodically through the show. Those received a few chuckles.

The first audience volunteer, Jack, helped out with the balloon animal section of the performance. This ended with Evan making a dog and Jonathan swallowing it.

The duo also put a new twist on old tricks. The card tricks that Jonathan performed with the help of volunteer Erin were entertaining. It started off just like a normal card trick, but then he pulled the card the volunteer had chosen out of his pants pocket. In the next card trick, he pulled the designated card from his shoe, and during the next card trick he found the card under his shoe.

The last leg of the show was by far the best. Evan did his original “skateboard catapult.” He shot three balls off a skateboard and tried to catch them all. Each time he missed he took off clothes. By this time the audience was really comfortable with Jonathan and Evan, so they were catcalling Evan as he subtracted clothing. Evan played along and did a little dance when prompted by,“take it off” from an audience member. Evan was down to his second shirt by the time he caught the balls. He had taken off a jacket, long-sleeve shirt and hat.

When performing the “faking it” ball-juggling trick where he pretended to juggle, Evan commented that, “I had to do this trick for half an hour at Monmouth College.”

Evan balanced a Knox hat on his face, and then progressed to balance a 45-pound trunk on his chin.

Jonathan won the audience polled popularity contest so he performed his final trick last. This meant Evan did his final trick first. His trick required another volunteer. A volunteer, Angie, responded to the crowd and helped Evan by holding a bowling ball while he balanced on two skateboards with a knife and toilet bowl cleaner. Evan told Angie to throw the bowling ball at him so he could catch it in a juggle. She threw it right as he was starting to say he was joking. Once everyone recovered from the shock of the ball hitting the stage, Angie handed the ball to Evan and he started the trick. Evan juggled a large knife, bowling ball and toilet bowl cleaner while balancing on two skateboards on a trunk.

Jonathan’s final trick was less impressive, but no less entertaining. He started with a strip tease, getting down to a black tank top and red “Knox” boxers. He then put a toilet bowl lid on his head with his arm contorted through it and preceded to run through the auditorium screaming. He then pulled his entire body through the seat.

The crowd may have been small, but they were not short on spirit. There was lots of cheering and conversation. Overall it was a fun, relaxed show that gave the audience more then just the average magic and comedy routine.

Jennifer Lloyd

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