Wake up, Santa Monica. Tonight, at Magicopolis on 4th Street, entertainer extraordinaire Frank Olivier, a juggler, fire eater, sword swallower, knife-thrower, stilt-walker, unicyclist, acrobat and magician (whew) makes his Santa Monica debut with his acclaimed “Twisted Cabaret” comedy variety show. I say “wake up” because this hilarious, action-packed 2-hour performance is like 5-hour Energy on steroids. It’s part vaudeville, part Cirque du Soleil, part Penn and Teller and pure pandemonium.
Since 1980, Olivier, a resident of Oakland with a wife and two children, tours at least four months out of the year. He has crossed the country many times over with his one-of-a-kind act, has entertained sold-out audiences in London and performed on Broadway. He’s been on the “Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson, who, as a kid, grew up on magic and as a result had a special affinity for Frank.
In fact, Frank not only chatted with Johnny after his appearance but they left the studio together. In the parking lot they were greeted by an adoring crowd of Carson’s fans. Understandably, Frank recalls it as among his most memorable evenings.
Frank’s also appeared on many TV shows, including “America’s Got Talent.” Spoiler alert: His specialty is making it look like he’s completely losing control when in fact he is a fine-tuned genius. Frank often feigns an out-of-control incompetence, which audiences find a combination of funny and frightening. On the televised talent show, he brought the house down and just about scared Howie Mandell to death.
Spoiler alert No. 2: The basic premise of Frank’s performance is it’s the night of the big comedy variety show, the stage is set and the theater is packed. But the tour bus with all the performers has broken down, and now Olivier must pull off the show of his life, and perform all 16 acts himself, aided only by Flynch, his loyal hunchback assistant.
Frank is like a clown car of talents — just when you think you’ve seen him do it all, another bizarro delight comes tumbling out. The New York Times called his cabaret “wickedly funny.” Las Vegas Magazine called him a “comedic genius!” And the San Francisco Bay Guardian referred to him as “a one man reincarnation of vaudeville with a decided edge!”
I can personally attest that Frank provides a charming and witty interview. So, I can safely say, if you enjoy laughing, a medicine I’ve always recommended, Frank Olivier might be just what the doctor ordered. (To get a teaser of the show and Frank’s hilarious talent, go to YouTube and type “Twisted Cabaret.”)
The only downside is that Frank’s engagement in Santa Monica is limited. His show opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. continues Friday and Saturday (April 16-18). The schedule repeats next Thursday, Friday and Saturday. (April 23-25). Magicopolis is located at 1418 4th St. Tickets can be ordered at http://twistedcabaret.com/tickets.
Jack Neworth’s “Laughing Matters” column appears in the Daily Press every Friday. Jack can be reached at email@example.com.