SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — Comedian, magician and ventriloquist Andy Gross is bringing his Mind Boggling Variety Show to the Courthouse Center for the Arts this Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.
Gross is known for his “split man” videos, in which he appears to be cut in half — carrying his bottom half with his top half — and other illusions that have garnered hundreds of millions of views on YouTube and have led to appearances on The Ellen Show, ABC, CBS, FOX, CNN and MTV.
Gross is a man of many talents and brings something unique to the table for the Courthouse, according to Executive Director Maryann Almonte.
“We’ve never had anything like this here at the Courthouse, so we’re trying something new,” Almonte said. “I think the audience will love it and I think it’s something new that the Courthouse is presenting and I think that’s refreshing. I think we all need a little laughter in our life after this tragic pandemic. I think we all need to get out, have some fun and just laugh in a safe environment.”
His show consists of stand up routines, ventriloquist acts, magic tricks and illusions. He works with volunteers — who Almonte said will be pre-selected to keep up with COVID compliance and social distancing measures — and will turn people into human puppets and make audience members levitate.
“It’s a fun show,” Almonte said. “It’s definitely hold-your-stomach-in-pain laughter, definitely, and I think there’s a little shock in there too. What’s the craziest things that he does? Like, separating his body in half or pulling somebody’s head off their shoulders. But it’s family fun, too, I think, because he’s a magician and he’s clean and he’s sharp and he’s extremely witty, so he has me in stitches every time he calls. He’s a great guy.”
Tickets for the show are $27 and are available at the Courthouse’s website, courthousearts.org. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and seating is limited with extra adherence to COVID-19 guidelines. Masks must be worn during the show.
“I want people to feel safe and comfortable with the social distancing,” Almonte said. “They have to wear their masks, they put on their hand sanitizer right when they walk in.”
As for the Courthouse, Almonte says she’s grateful for the support of the community in helping them weather the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m extremely grateful for all the help and support of the community and the love and support that they’ve shared and given.” Almonte said.
For more information on Andy Gross or to check out his videos, visit andygrosslive.com or his YouTube channel, andygrosslive.
The next show at the Courthouse is “Destination Motown” by the Sensational Soul Cruisers, which will take place April 30 and May 1, with both shows starting at 7:30 p.m.