Off-Broadway theater has always been about experimenting. Why not, then, turn an Off-Broadway stage into your old high school science lab? Why not, indeed. Especially with a teacher like Dave Maiullo, a charismatic and committed science geek who takes every opportunity to make his theatrical science class as entertaining as he can in That Physics Show.
As Maiullo points out at the start, many of the things he does in That Physics Show are not actually magic, they just feel like it. Rather, they are based on the hard science of physics, a field of the sciences that, Dave is quick to let us know, most other sciences are dependent on.
That Physics Show never goes so far as to play its “magic” in a theatrical way. All the amazing things are treated as cool science. There is no swell of music or drama one would encounter during similar acts of a magic show. This is neither good, nor bad. It simply is the way Maiullo and producer Eric Krebs choose to play it. Such straight directorial treatment may actually play better for kids — who one assumes are the primary audience anyway. We adults might have benefited from cranked up drama and sex appeal, but it was enjoyable nonetheless.
There were times I felt I wasn’t fully understanding the science explanations Maiullo was giving. Then again, my nine year old was next to me and able to fill in the parts I didn’t get. This again underscores just who the target market is — smart kids. If you have one, take them to see this show!