Fringe 2019 Review: 'The Great & Powerful Tim: Clue Dunnit?'


The year is 1926, and we’ve gathered in the illustrious Purple Theatre to be amazed and astounded by the latest illusions from The Great and Powerful Slim. Alas, the prestigious prestidigitator is felled in the middle of his first trick, and it falls to his faithful butler Tim to solve his mentor’s murder by performing muddled magic tricks. About the only thing Tim successfully manages to make disappear is his quasi-British accent, and the rabbit he attempts to pull from a hat ends up much the worse for wear. But with the passive-aggressive assistance of his undermining groundskeeper, Tim proves his supernatural power to generate big laughs out of thin air.

The Great and Powerful Tim: Clue Dunnit? marks the seventh Fringe appearance by Tim Hoffman, an Orlando expat now operating out of Los Angeles. None of Hoffman’s effects are especially innovative, and his 70/30 ratio of self-depreciating patter versus actual tricks feel unbalanced. However, Hoffman’s flopsweat-fueled momentum makes even familiar tricks feel funny and fresh, and his mentalism gags generate genuine gasps. I’m not sure any of Hoffman’s subsequent performances can possibly equal his sidesplitting preview, during which he handled a deluge of technical mishaps with hysterical aplomb. But Clue Dunnit? is my favorite of Tim’s many Festival performances by far, and the funniest magic show I’ve seen all year.

The Great & Powerful Tim: Clue Dunnit?

The Great & Powerful Tim
Los Angeles CA
Ages 7 and up
60 minutes
Wednesday, May 15th 7:00 PM
Saturday, May 18th 3:00 PM
Sunday, May 19th 1:30 PM
Wednesday, May 22nd 7:45 PM
Thursday, May 23rd 6:00 PM
Saturday, May 25th 4:00 PM
Sunday, May 26th 12:00 PM

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