Review: Smoke and Mirrors at Shadowbox Live

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

There's a video midway through "Smoke and Mirrors," Shadowbox Live's spring show, in which Stev Guyer throws out a bunch of themes for the new show - everything from lies to magic.

It's perhaps that broad focus that keeps the hodgepodge piece from feeling like a cohesive show.

Fortunately, the troupe still manages to bring its crazy, infectious energy to the performance, elevating even the rare lackluster sketch (like "Wizards of Pawn," a fairy-tale take on the pawn shop TV show) into something enjoyable.

Jason (Jimmy Mak) is back with another scary story about asking a girl to the school dance. Like most Jason skits, the magic comes from the person miming the story, in this case a hyper Robbie Nance.

Dr. Mystery (David Whitehouse), Vigo (Mak) and the Fair Maiden (Katy Psenicka) have a new case when a notorious mugger (Andy Ankrom) breaks out of prison. Other highlights include Julie Klein's increasingly frustrated announcer, JT Walker III's sound effects guy and a crazy puppet show rumble.

There are great performances on the music stage as well, including Amy Lay singing "CrushCrushCrush" by Paramore, Stacie Boord's take on "Ordinary World" by Duran Duran and Tom Cardinal's version of "Walk on the Ocean" by Toad the Wet Sprocket.

Featuring lead vocals from Klein and Boord, a performance of "Perplexity" is perhaps the show's real highlight. Dancer Renee Horton is stellar as the singers' puppet.

Shadowbox Live

Through May 5

503 S. Front St., Brewery District