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Goethe Institut – Mainstage
Remaining Performances: 
Sunday, July 21, 7:45 p.m.

Friday, July 26, 5:45 p.m.

Saturday, July 27, noon

They say: “The secrets of the universe may be hidden in the inexplicable patterns constructed in one man’s mind. An unusual blend of interactive theatre and magic created by the five-time winner of the Boulder Fringe ‘Encore Award.'”

Brett’s Take: Perhaps the simplest show you could ever see at Fringe, Patterns: A Numbers and Symbols Show consists of precisely two long magic tricks. One is an impressive feat that does not hit that button—-you know, the “with all my powers of logic I cannot figure out how they did that besides actual magic” button, as is the case with some of magician Greg Tobo‘s sleight of hand. The other trick does hit that button, although it takes a while to get there.

Tobo is a quietly affable performer with a natural stage manner, but he’s not a comedian, and he speaks rather slowly (though this may have just been jet lag at my performance, given he had just flown into town an hour before), so the build-up to the two tricks’ payoffs can be a bit tiresome. The biggest suspense comes from trying to guess how all the strange elements are going to add up. I won’t tell you what any of them are, because that would ruin the effect; I will tell you that the organizing principle is Tobo’s assertion that the universe is a responsive organism, and any numbers we “put into it” will come back at us in some mystical way. Let that be description enough.

So, yes—-one trick, the one that he does first, has multiple stages that demonstrate impressive memory and preparation skills on Tobo’s part; it’s a decent kick to see the results, but doesn’t hit that button. As for the other one—I still have no clue how he could have faked it in any way. Your entertainment value will depend on how much you get out of trying to guess the results ahead of time, and either in believing in the mysticism at the end, or trying to dig apart his technique. If you do the latter, and figure it out—-please, let me know.

See it if: You want a Fringe show that gives you homework to keep boggling your mind.
Skip it if: You’d be just as happy going on YouTube to see a couple great math-and-memory magic tricks.