The Art Inventory

The Humor In The Magic Of ‘I Hate Children’

by Kirby Lindsay, posted 31 January 2014


This column originally posted when Paul Nathan first brought his devilishly clever, all ages show to Fremont.  It is being reposted to prepare audiences for another chance to enjoy the ‘I Hate Children’ Children’s Show, at Hale’s Palladium February 4th26th.  Purchase an opportunity to see this outrageous show through Stranger Tickets.


The 'I Hate Children' Children's Show comes to Hale's Palladium Feb 8 - 23, 2014.  Photo provided by Paul Nathan

The ‘I Hate Children’ Children’s Show comes to Hale’s Palladium Feb 8 – 23, 2014. Photo provided by Paul Nathan

This February, Fremont audiences have another opportunity to goggle at the madcap antics of Frank Olivier’s Twisted Cabaret, at Hale’s Palladium, from February 6th – 23rdFrank Olivier performed his incredible one-man vaudeville show in Fremont last May, to appreciative audiences overwhelmed by the spectacle.  This year, the experienced as well as the uninitiated can enjoy a dose of the Cabaret, this time with an added, and odd, Valentine’s twist!

As a bonus, Fremont audiences also have a chance to witness the rare treat of magician Paul Nathan and his award-winning ‘I Hate Children’ Children’s Magic Show, also at Hale’s for a short series of weekend matinee shows, from February 8th – Feb 23rd.  “This show has never been in the U.S. before,” Nathan reported, and he is looking forward to seeing – along with the rest of us – how the show translates for American audiences, particularly audiences as ready to laugh as those in Fremont.

'Twisted Cabaret' returns to Hale's Palladium February 6 - 23, 2013

‘Twisted Cabaret’ returns to Hale’s Palladium February 6 – 23, 2013

Fremont – An Obvious Choice

Nathan is American, and has toured the world with his own act as well as with Olivier, and ‘Twisted Cabaret’, playing the henchman Flynch.  Yet, he’s only had a one month’s encounter with Fremont audiences.  “Last year I was unfamiliar with the Seattle scene,” Nathan explained, “but Hale’s Palladium is so welcoming, and the stage is so well set up…  Coming back this year was such an obvious choice!”

He and Olivier will perform at Hale’s, before returning to San Francisco with both their shows for extended runs.  “Seattle, it’s a great city,” Nathan acknowledged, and he believes the our audiences will get the joke – and enjoy the magic – of ‘I Hate Children.’  “The name is meant to be sarcastic and ironic,” Nathan explained, “I think people will get the joke.”

‘The Show I Would Want To See’

For the last five years, audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival have gotten, and enjoyed, the humor and the illusions Nathan creates.  “We’ve never gotten anything less than a 4-star rating on a review,” he observed, “People come to the show ready to be insulted.  They anticipate being insulted.”

Paul Nathan performing magic with audience members at an Edinburgh performance of 'I Hate Children' in August 2013

Paul Nathan performing magic with audience members at an Edinburgh performance of ‘I Hate Children’ in August 2013

“It’s really obvious that we care about our young audience,” Nathan observed, “this show is about respecting children enough to play with them.”  As a child, Nathan found the magicians who performed magic shows for children boring and insulting.  It wasn’t until he saw a magician, Shimada, playing to adults on The Merv Griffin Show, that he found his interest in magic.  “I want to create the magic show I wanted to see when I was a kid.  If I were 10, I think this is the show I would want to see.”

‘I Hate Children’ is funny, but Nathan is a magician.  He performs magic, and invites the children, ages 8 and up, on to the stage to also give it a try – and find their own magic.  Throughout the show, though, he plays a character – and he goes all out, as the name suggests.  “If you were half a Grinch, you’d just be a jerk,” he said, “You can’t do this character half-way.”

Frank Olivier and 'Flynch' in 'Twisted Cabaret' at Hale's Palladium in May 2013.  Photo by John Cornicello Photography

Frank Olivier and ‘Flynch’ in ‘Twisted Cabaret’ at Hale’s Palladium in May 2013. Photo by John Cornicello Photography

Nathan has owned a theater in San Francisco, and he’s learned just how difficult it can be to reach young audiences.  “The whole point of this show is to create a show that is accessible and affordable to families,” he explained, “if you love your children, and hate children’s shows, this is the one to get tickets to!”

‘As Bad As I Want To Be’

In addition to his magic-filled matinees, Nathan also returns to the Hale’s stage in ‘Twisted Cabaret,’ to work, “for the greatest variety artist of our time,” as Nathan described Olivier, “He’s a force of nature.  He’s certainly one of the greatest vaudevillians of our time.”

Nathan said that being a magician pays better, but he’s found the challenge of acting in ‘Twisted Cabaret’ still engages him even after 11 years.  “The role [of Flynch] is really an actor’s role,” he said, and “Frank encourages me to be a little wicked…to be as bad as I want to be.”

For this special Twisted Cabaret, Olivier has added two or three new characters, including Miss Peacock.  “Last year’s show was all about failure,” Nathan observed, “this year is about romance.”

'I Hate Children' Children's Magic Show will delight all audience members, but the kids get to do magic too!

‘I Hate Children’ Children’s Magic Show will delight all audience members, but the kids get to do magic too!

Nathan enthusiastically endorses both shows.  When it comes to the one-hour ‘I Hate Children’ Children’s Magic Show, “If you don’t get it, you aren’t going to attend,” Nathan said, “if you do buy a ticket, I think you’re going to enjoy yourself.”  ‘Twisted Cabaret’ is a little more adult, but he also has seen a very mixed audience get into its wackiness.  “Twisted is truly accessible,” he explained, “you can go with your girlfriend, or with your buddies.  It’s a great date night show, but also all around fun!”

Purchase tickets separately for these two outrageous live theater works.  ‘I Hate Children’ tickets can be purchased for $15 – 35, on Stranger Tickets.  Tickets for Twisted Cabaret will be $15 – 60, also on Stranger Tickets, but readers can use the promo code – Valentine – for $5 off!



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©2014 Kirby Lindsay.  This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws.  Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.

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