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The Paranormal Review 

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The Paranormal Review, Side Project, at the Side Studio. Unusual phenomena are happening everywhere, and in an effort to educate the public the "Charles Flynn Society" has assembled a series of sketches, songs, and dramatic readings depicting "paranormal, psychic, and bizarre" events.

This Side Project show, written by Erik Brogger, is silly but often entertaining as it looks at communicating with the dead, flying furniture, out-of-body experiences, and poltergeist visitations. Part of the shtick is that these earnest believers aren't the best writers and that their production lacks polish; still, the show's unevenness over two hours can be annoying. One meandering scene, "Song Dog," is even cut short by society members because it's so awful--but Brogger should have excised it himself. This sketch takes his characters' well-established incompetence too far.

But for the most part the production is funny. Patrick Mousel stands out as the evening's mousy host, and Jeff Madden's and Jimmy McDermott's commitment to their various oddball characters pays off in laughs. The show has a bit of everything--even a hilarious street mime--but its highlights include a reenactment of The Invisible Man and a video depicting Norwegian poltergeists. The paranormal occurrences are so odd it's obvious we're meant to be skeptical, but the spoof is best in one show-stealing scene in which a shadow puppet stalks and kills a gullible human.

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