The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show at WonderWorks Orlando Delivers Good Food and a Fun Time with New Expanded Schedule This Summer
By Chris Karel
Tony Brent strolled out onto the stage at WonderWorks looking like your fun-but-edgy uncle, complete with tattoos and a mischievous glint in his eyes. The show that followed fit that persona perfectly – 90 minutes of escapist fun that on a few occasions bordered on bawdy but was never inappropriate or mean-spirited.
The grab bag of gags and tricks that make up The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show has been fine-tuned to appeal to a wide range of ages, nationalities and sensibilities, but it didn’t feel stale or predictable. The tricks were truly mind-blowing and the gags hilarious, but it was the audience interaction that made the show especially engaging, suspenseful… and fun.
Brent picked at least a dozen audience members to join him on stage at various points throughout the show, and each time he plucked someone out of their seat, the trepidation was palpable. Will the teenager from Georgia follow Brent’s high-energy lead or die of embarrassment right there in front of us? Is the buff, bearded guy in the ‘Merica t-shirt going to play along with the entertainer’s up-close-and-personal, touchy-feely schtick or punch his lights out? As I’m sure is almost always the case, Brent’s “victims” defied stereotypes and reminded me that you can’t judge a book by its cover – a bonus bit of magic that I wasn’t expecting.
Another source of apprehension-followed-by-joy was the food that preceded the show. Dinner includes unlimited cheese and pepperoni pizza, salad, beer, wine, soda and dessert. The salad was fresh, the pizza was hot and delicious and the dessert – in our case, red velvet cake – nearly had me sneaking back to the kitchen so I could wolf down a second piece without my kids finding out.
The one aspect of dinner that caught my pandemic-addled brain by surprise was the family-style seating. Guests were seated side-by-side at a series of long tables. The salad was self-served from a communal bowl and the pizza was delivered to high platters spaced out along each table, with guests helping themselves to slices. Everything was clean and tidy, and the wait staff was outstanding, but it still took my brain a few minutes to get used to this setup. The plus side to this cozy setup, however, is that, with a capacity of only 125 guests per show, there’s not a bad seat in the house.
WonderWorks bills The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show as the longest-running dinner show in Orlando, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that were true. I’m also not surprised that WonderWorks is expanding the show’s schedule throughout the summer to meet demand. From June 11th to August 7th, the show will run three times each day, at 4, 6 and 8 p.m. (Since even fun, edgy uncles need a night off every once in a while, the show will occasionally be helmed by a special guest entertainer. (See the show’s website for more details.)
WonderWorks is the upside-down indoor amusement park located 9067 International Drive, near the convention center. Guests are encouraged to make reservations 48-72 hours in advance online. Ticket prices are $33.99 for ages 13+ and $23.99 for kids age 4-12 and seniors age 60+. Kids 0-3 are free. Considering that dinner-and-drinks at Applebee’s will run you $20 per person these days, this is a great value.