Magic to the Future, produced by The Great & Powerful Tim and performing as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival, is a magic show with a plot: a hapless magician’s assistant from the future is sent back in time and tasked with saving the world by … putting on a magic show.
Yes, it’s goofy as all Hell but the premise works and the show is actually a lot of fun.
The show parodies classic ‘80s time-travel movies like Back to the Future and The Terminator in a way that’s deliberately over-the-top silly. You see, the plot really serves as a flimsy framing device for magician Tim Hoffman’s series of illusions; primarily consisting of mentalism and close-up magic.
Ostensibly a one-man show, Hoffman actually interacts with a cast of characters throughout including an Amazon Alexa, the “OK Google” voice, a tiny killer robot, several different pre-recorded versions of himself and, of course, the numerous audience members singled out to assist with illusions throughout the show.
For his part, Hoffman has a likeable, down-to-earth stage persona. He’s self-aware and refreshingly self-deprecating; openly acknowledging when a joke bombed or when the timing for a technical cue was off. He has a great energy and keeps the show moving along at a good clip.
The script is a cheesy but loving homage to ‘80s sci-fi films. As a fan of the genre, the comedy landed well for me although the illusions Hoffman presented were not integrated into the plot in any meaningful way.
Hoffman seems to really revel in his opportunity to play send-ups of Marty McFly and Doc Brown throughout the show to the point where it does start to feel a bit indulgent and maybe one or two more illusions would have made for a more balanced show. I also would have liked to see some more variety in the illusions presented, the majority were some variation on predicting an audience member’s thoughts.
Those minor quibbles aside, Magic to the Future, makes for a fun and entertaining hour.
- Magic To The Future plays at the St. Vladimir Institute. (620 Spadina Ave.)
- Tickets are $12. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Fringe Club at Scadding Court, and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- Content Warnings: Audience Participation, Mature Language.
- This venue is wheelchair-accessible through a secondary route. After the building’s business hours, a staff member will need to escort you through this route, so plan to arrive early for evening shows.
- Wednesday July 5th, 08:45 pm
- Saturday July 8th, 12:00 pm
- Monday July 10th, 10:45 pm
- Wednesday July 12th, 03:30 pm
- Friday July 14th, 07:00 pm
- Saturday July 15th, 05:45 pm
- Sunday July 16th, 02:45 pm
Photo of Tim Hoffman by Lindsey Mutert