Redefining Wonder (Chris Funk) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review

redefining_wonderI still can’t figure out how he did it. I spent my entire 30-minute commute home trying to figure it out. I can’t. Chris Funk‘s phenomenal magic blew my mind in his show Redefining Wonder at the Toronto Fringe Festival.

I saw Lance Burton in Las Vegas and David Copperfield when he last came to Toronto. The twelve-year-old magician in me was looking forward to seeing this. I was expecting something good. I was not expecting that it would be that good.

Chris Funk strikes the perfect balance of not-too-corporate, not-too-street. He’s a consummate professional, one whom I would pay good money to see in Vegas. His act is polished and tight with witty one-liners that flow off his tongue with ease. He commands the stage with charm and skillfully handles the audience.

Funk covers a wide range of magic, from crazy card tricks and money manipulation to predictions and vanishes. He uses video to great effect during the show to complete illusions and highlight close-ups.

Every trick is fresh and exciting to watch. One of my favourites is when he coaxes cards to float out of their box by serenading them on a violin. Not a pre-recorded solo. He plays the violin live.

There was only one glitch in the show, when one trick didn’t go quite according to plan. Funk, however, recovered quickly and didn’t miss a beat. Within moments he was onto the next piece of magic and we were whisked away again.

It’s the culminating trick that still has me baffled. In lieu of notes, I simply scrawled: “WHAT.” I don’t understand how he did it. It’s impossible. My mind is blown. On my way out of the theatre, the lady in front of me said: “That was equal parts awesome and terrifying.”

I highly recommend Redefining Wonder. Get a group of friends together and be prepared to argue on the way home about how Chris Funk does it. And if you figure it out, let me know.


  • Redefining Wonder is playing at the Robert Gill Theatre.
  • Tickets are $12 in advance, $10 at the door. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
  • Tickets can be purchased online, by phone (416-966-1062), from the festival box office down Honest Ed’s Alley (581 Bloor West), or from the venue box office starting one hour before the performance. Venue sales are cash-only.
  • Be advised that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and latecomers are never admitted. Set your watch to CBC time, and arrive a few minutes early to avoid disappointment.

Remaining Showtimes:
July 05 at 09:15 PM
July 06 at 08:45 PM
July 07 at 03:15 PM
July 09 at 11:00 PM
July 10 at 02:45 PM
July 11 at 01:45 PM

Photo of Chris Funk provided by the company.