Hamner-Barber Variety Show

Can’t decide what show to watch – Magic Show?  Comedy Show?  How about both!!!  The Hamner-Barber show has amazing magic and hilarious comedy in one great show.  The general policy of the theater is no cameras, but I got special permission to take photos during Jim Barber’s portion of the show, but no pictures during the magic.  I can tell you about the magic, but I’m sure I won’t do it justice.

The show opens with Dave Hamner making cards and coins appear from nowhere.  Then he makes birds appear from out of scarves.  These are not tiny birds – oh no – they are full size Cockatoos and Macaws.  When they appear, they fly over the audience and back to the stage.  It’s a beautiful sight to see.  Jim Barber takes over the stage with Seville.  Usually you see the ventriloquist holding the dummy, but Jim comes out as the dummy.  It’s quite a feat to say the least.  Jim sings as Seville, himself, and as the female opera singer.  After taking those characters off stage, Jim starts to talk to the audience.  His mouth moves, but the voice comes across after.  It would be hard enough to talk without moving your lips, but this was amazing.  He later finds a bag on stage and it starts talking to him.  Sure enough, it’s a baby inside.  They talk for a bit and break out in song “Blue Heaven”.

The dancers take the stage and set the mood for the next magic act.  The curtain opens to reveal an Egyptian Sarcophagus looking apparatus.  Dave’s wife, Denise, steps into the sarcophagus and they lock her in.  We watch as the whole thing splits into pieces.  After they put the pieces back together again, out steps Denise.  Jim Barber brings out Chico Pete, a stray – um – dog, that apparently can talk.  Before you know it, they are into a song and dance.

The Hamners bring out a “new to me” illusion – Secrets of the Lost Ark Revealed.  We see the ark loaded with lots of items, then hoisted onto a cart.  The whole thing is covered in a blanket then it rises into the air, only to disappear as the blanket is pulled away. Jim and the baby come back for another song before the Hamners perform their illusion Vertigo.  Let’s just say, this one you just have to see for yourselves.  Quite breathtaking.  

The second half opens as Austin Powers (Jim Barber) takes the stage with the dancers AJ Heard, Ken Brown, and Kelly Nolte.  Dave gets in on the act and makes Austin disappear, and then reappear.  At this point it was hard to tell who was in control, Austin or Dave but it was delightful fun as they brought a couple on stage. 

We saw more illusions from the Hamners and appearing/disappearing birds and more comedy – like his Jungle Jim routine with his monkey and banana phone song.  It was a pleasure to watch Dave as he performed close up magic via video on stage.  Making coins move from under one hand to another, or multiplying from 4 coins to over 20, you have to wonder just how its done.  Or you could just sit back and enjoy just being amazed.


This was a delightful show.  Awarded Best Variety Show 2007, it’s a show you don’t want to miss.  To make sure you get a chance to see the show, go to BransonQuicktix.com or call 417-239-4274.  Tell them you read the review on Bransonmom.com and you will get $3 off an adult ticket.