The Great Tomsoni & Co.

Variety

Variety Night Club ReviewsAdding some inane zest to the current Dick Francisco "Sizzle" revue, The Great Tomsoni & Co. tackle the audience with magic hokum-pokum. Tomsoni, who delivers his spoken accents in fake Polish, comes clean with mostly pantomime as tricks work to his surprise.

His company is wife Pamela, and both have been presenting one of the funniest magic acts for years. He is ex-harmonica player/actor John Thompson, who found his partner, a student of thespian teacher Lee Strasberg, while she was playing legit. They formed their act after he left Jerry Murad's Harmonicats in the '60s.

Tomsoni does manage to mystify between his quirky mannerisms, producing numerous white doves fluttering from scarves and even out of a clear plastic square. Partner Pamela, meanwhile, supplies him with gadgets as the dumb, putupon, blond, gum-chewing assistant. She's a perfect foil.

At length, perhaps 15 minutes or so from Tomsoni's bumbling entrance, the last dove arrives from nowhere and departs, cueing his new role. He switches from pantomime to standup comedian, mouthing crazy sound effects within funny phone monolog. The "Babushkas from Warsaw" finale has Thomsoni frantically pulling dozens of knotted scarves from a hollow silver tube, and going on and on until he bunches the material together and - presto - out pops a bowling ball.

This finish and all of the interior magico fancies, plus the jokery, adds up to crowd-pleasing Tomsoni tactics. - Will