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Intimate Scares


‘Strange Things’ duo put on a supernatural performance in unusual People’s Improv Theater show


By Bethany Trottier / Jester correspondent


Matthew Holtzclaw and Prakash Puru began their Nov. 8 performance as “Strange Things” at The PIT with a request that the audience move closer to the stage, beckoning them forward from the middle and rear seats where most were.


The front rows were undoubtedly the best vantage point for the magic tricks performed by the duo. Holtzclaw and Puru made a point of bringing audience members on stage for tricks to get some even closer to the performance. And why not get your money’s worth?


Another incentive to get close is a better chance at being chosen for a mind-reading piece by Holtzclaw and Puru. Chatting later with the audience member who participated, she reported they were very accurate.


The duo are both large men in gentlemanly suits, with subdued demeanors. They have an easy and amusing banter, which is genuinely funny. Puru’s British accent is quite proper, spoken in a low quiet voice that makes the vulgarities he uses that much more amusing. They perform card tricks, lit cigarette tricks and full glasses of water tricks, all of it exceptionally polished – very well done.


Halfway through the show, Holtzclaw declared that we would be treated to something a bit unusual, a touch of horror added. Well, my brain was nerve wracked with thoughts of the macabre. My stomach however, was rattled as hell, lurching, attempting to upend the nachos I had so conscientiously filled it with before the show. To be honest it was the sounds more than the images of the grotesque that got me. Not for the faint of heart indeed.


Strange Things returns to The PIT at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22














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