By Luke Dodge
During a bullet catch gone wrong, Tim accidentally kills Santa Claus and must prove his magic skills in order to replace him and save Christmas. As someone who thinks Christmas should stay in December (yes, I’m that guy) I immediately had my reservations.
With Christmas music playing prior to the start of the show, you’re immediately struck by the theme. Modeled after the tropes of our beloved childhood Christmas movies and stealing heavily from the Christmas Carol, Tim Hoffman takes us along for a magic-filled ride through his own holiday dreams turned silly nightmare.
Despite being a one-man show there are multiple characters. An disembodied announcer voice provides humorous commentary and guides the show’s story. Audience volunteers play roles in the show using script cards given at key moments. Costumes are even provided for the audience “actors.” Use of both prerecorded and audience characters keeps the show lively and active (not to mention funny).
Tim has a great sense of humor and is genuinely fun to watch. If you look carefully you’ll find delightful pop culture gems hidden throughout the show. Be warned: The rating is PG, but there are a few subtly sexual jokes, but you’ll only understand them if you’re old enough anyway so it’s probably still safe to bring children.
Tim performs a variety of trick types including card and prop as well as a social deduction acts. Don’t worry, all the “brain-entering” is consensual. A couple tricks I came away with a good idea of how they are done, but the majority left me scratching my head as any good illusion should. The “saving Christmas” theme is present in all of the tricks and I didn’t feel as if any are out of place or stuck in to fill time. Tech is on point with only a few needed cues from Tim to play at the correct times the various sounds and voice-overs scattered throughout the set.
Tim is a showman who knows how to work and interact with the crowd. Any time the energy of the room wanes he'll pull you back in with a burst of his enthusiasm. He is so animated and full of energy at one point he accidentally knocked a painting off the wall. Luckily no art was damaged and the tech person (along with a helpful audience member) moved the other paintings out of reach of his gesticulations.