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Posted at 2:58 PM ET, 03/ 7/2005

You're Getting Sleepy...

By washingtonpost.com

You have every right to be skeptical of someone like Flip Orley, who is billed as The Nation's Premier Comic Hypnotist. Besides having a title that's about as inspiring as The New Jersey Turnpike's Most Happenin' Rest Area, comic hypnosis seems a bit hackneyed. What, you're going to make me think I'm a chicken and make me strut around the stage? Good for you, buddy. Now I'm a dog? Woof woof, ha ha.

But Orley's shows aren't like that. If they were, it's unlikely he'd still be going strong after 20 years, selling out clubs like The Improv for weeks at a time. After getting volunteers from the audience under his spell, he puts them in slightly more nuanced situations - say, they are all different costumed workers at Disney World frustrated with their jobs and are at a support group to help each other - and lets them take over the show. Orley is the guide, but the participants are the stars. It's never demeaning, but almost always hilarious. I've seen him four times over the past five years, and even when he recycles a few scenarios the show remains fresh because no two people will react to a situation the same way.

Orley is halfway through his latest two-week engagement at The Improv, which ends on Sunday.

--David

By washingtonpost.com  | March 7, 2005; 2:58 PM ET
Categories:  Misc.  
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