Theatre Review: The Scariest Thing in the World — Is Nothing


Note: This review was posted on the KC Stage review system.

“Mister Gremory’s Cabinet of Curiosities”, written, directed, and produced by Dustin Curry (part of the KC Fringe Festival). First produced 2011. (Seen July 29, 2011.)

Magic is all about the stage presence and the ability to hold an audience. You can know all the tricks in the proverbial book, but if you have no chemistry with the audience or have a flair for the dramatic, you will never amount to more than just doing tricks for your friends and family.

Dustin Curry, as Mister Gremory (to rhyme with ‘memory’), definitely has stage presence. As I told him afterwards, he is smooth with an extra ‘oooh’. And it’s his chemistry that really holds together this series of magic and sideshow tricks, although he did seem to stumble a bit and be off his game from time to time during the night I saw him.

Dustin Curry. Photo by Rich Sutton.

On stage right stands the cabinet of the title, and Curry gets props (literally, in this case) for the various oddities he uses throughout the night. While I, as a magic enthusiast, tried to enjoy it as a performance and not figure out how he did things, he does start out with a trick he then goes to explain — which I really enjoyed.

However, it was the ending of the show that I felt was the best bit. Calling forth any ghosts that may haunt the theatre (ghosts in a theatre? Who knew? <sarcasm mode off>), the room was plunged into darkness and the audience is presented with a five minute section that to me was positively Hitchcockian, actually doing very little (i.e., showing nothing) and letting the atmosphere and a few extras I won’t explain (as I don’t want to be that person) be the best trick of the night.

While Curry is no David Copperfield or Amazing Jonathan, for $5 I wasn’t expecting much — and got a lot more than I imagined. I was happily impressed with Curry and his dark show, and would willingly see him again if he ever came back to Kansas City.

The 2011 KC Fringe Festival is over, but you can see a promo video and more information about Curry at (note: link no longer active).

Read all of my Fringe reviews here

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