With her bold style and even bolder personality, Mandy Muden is anything but invisible. Muden’s premise for “Is not the Invisible Woman” is that women “of a certain age” are overlooked often enough to feel invisible, and she has set out to prove that she, at least, still commands attention.
However, Muden is let down by her magic, which is often basic and clumsy. Her tricks are at their best when she incorporates them into her overall performance, as this marginally raises the audience’s emotional investment. A section illustrating a romantic relationship ending poorly using several bits of string shifts Muden’s performance to an unexpectedly melancholic tone, despite the maintenance of her playful character, but is a highlight in how she uses magic.
Perhaps ironically, Muden’s many jokes about and references to being a woman “of a certain age” get old fast, especially as they start to sound repetitive. It is possible that viewers who feel like they fit in to the category that she describes would appreciate this element of her show a bit more, and that she intentionally caters to this audience. She is at least consistent in maintaining her theme.
Muden develops a patchy relationship with her audience, teasing her participants slightly more than necessary, even when the participant in question was visibly uncomfortable. She was lucky in that the majority of her participants responded well to this approach. Her repeated instructions to get her male participants to weigh themselves to contribute numbers for part of her final reveal could be construed as commentary on social pressures on women’s bodies. However, it is left to the audience to decide whether her method of making this point is too neglectful of the similar pressures on men’s bodies that may be relevant in the lives of her participants.
Muden has a solid goal in her show in demonstrating to the audience and perhaps also to herself that she is not limited by her age and gender. Her execution may have a more niche appeal. Nevertheless she certainly succeeds in her aim—in fact, it is difficult to imagine Muden ever being overlooked.