Pete Firman describes himself as a “comedy magician”, and it is his balance of comedy and magic that set Marvels apart. Firman’s comedy does not feel like filler in between magic tricks, but like an equally valuable and sizable component of his show.
One highlight epitomizes this balance. Firman uses a gigantic deck of cards for this section of the show, which he shuffles and then has an audience volunteer cut at random. However, rather than then proceeding with a magic trick as the audience might reasonably expect, Firman tells a fantastically pun filled story based on the order of the cards in the deck. This balance proves to be characteristic of Firman’s performance.
In a more magical sequence, Firman gets a couple of audience participants to join him on stage while he borrows a ring from one of them to use in his tricks. While he could be a bit kinder to his audience participants, luckily the individuals who he had onstage seemed unfazed. Firman performs his ring tricks with skillful precision, and an impressive degree of personal flair.
Firman unapologetically takes another break from magic when he uses a physics demonstration to mix drinks. The principle is simple enough, and Firman’s attempts to build tension may seem especially overly dramatic to audience members who had enthusiastic physics teachers. It is all the more impressive that Firman is able to seamlessly integrate such an experiment into his show, in a manner that does not feel out of place or any less entertaining to the audience.
Firman delves into classic magic as well, in particular in his utilization of two nesting tubes. Callbacks to classic magic tricks continue with the materialization of a multitude of scarves. Firman puts his own twist on the old tropes, and his distinctively idiosyncratic personality ensures that the tricks do not feel too old fashioned.
Marvels could be billed equally accurately as a magic show with bits of comedy, or a comedy show with bits of magic. Firman is an exceptional performer in either genre, and watching him blend the two is a delight.