fringe: paul dabek's stand up and be conjured

Paul Dabek's show Stand Up and Be Conjured is pretty much everything I want out of a Fringe show.

Firstly, if it's a comedy show... which this is, just as much as it's a magic show... then it needs to make me laugh my ass off. And Paul managed that easily. He's a little bit crazy, very energetic and he's bound and determined to win the audience over and make sure everyone is having a good time.

Some of the jokes are cheesy, some of the jokes are just hurled at the audience while he continues on at about a billion miles an hour to see where or if they land, and he's always pleased when some of the more esoteric ones do get a laugh from somebody (like when I laughed at his reference to the Hanky Code).

And I don't want to say that he "picks on" the audience, but he's very quick and will riff on who laughs at that joke or who isn't laughing or if somebody happens to turn up late or just about anything that goes on, and he'll work two or three gags (or in some cases running gags that span the whole show) about that person or what have you before moving on.

It also doesn't hurt that he's as cute as a box of puppies... you know, the really cute kind of puppy that you just want to pick up and cuddle, plus as I mentioned has about as much energy as the aforementioned box of puppies. Also he's a monumental flirt... more so to the ladies, but he's not completely against a little male flirting.

The magic tricks are, to be honest, fairly standard for the genre... some slight of hand (actually a lot of that) with scarves and ropes and whatnot... but it's the way he does the tricks... or in some cases, doesn't do them. But when he does them, he does them really well. And as always there are some that are easy enough to work out and others that I still have no idea about.

But I wouldn't have really cared if I'd been able to work out each and every trick as he was doing them... he had me in absolute fits of laughter, which is really all I care about. Plus it's definitely one of those shows that you talk about later going "what about when he did...".

The finale of the show is a complete departure from the rest, and I won't spoil it by giving away what happens, but it's really amazing, and yet still funny.

I cannot recommend Paul Dabek strongly enough... go, laugh your ass off, thank me later! Just don't show up late.

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