|The New York Times: Theater Review|
|A Comic Succeeds at Spectacular Failure|
| By LAWRENCE VAN GELDER|
Some people practice stand-up comedy. Tom Murphy belongs to the fall-down school. At the New Victory theater, he does practically nothing right. That's why he is funny. Mr. Murphy falls down in the aisle. He stumbles over the stairs. He trips over chairs. When he tries to blow up a balloon, it escapes like a lunatic eel into the audience.
When he tries to assemble a ladder, he pinches his hand and seeks a maternal kiss to recover from his boo-boo. When he mounts his unicycle, he needs the curtain for a security blanket. And sometimes he sucks his thumb. All the while children - and adults, too- laugh. But the adults don't squeal as much.
Mr. Murphy is the talented star of a one-man show called "Me-tamurphosis Minor," which lasts an hour or so and is a sure-fire cure for the Blahs. From time to time, Mr. Murphy, a sheepish child in vaudevillian's clothing, makes adults from the audience his accomplices, luring them atop his shoulders on the unicycle, enlisting them as aides while he juggles clubs atop his six-foot-high "unicycle of death" and best of all, practically levitating four of them in what he calls a miracle.
O.K., so Mr. Murphy does a few things right. It must be some sort of consolation for him to know that even if he can't navigate the aisles without falling down, at least he can balance a glass of wine on his fore-head and manage to drink it without using his hands or spilling a drop. But he's not a great ballet dancer, although it remains to be seen if Mikhail Baryshnikov can juggle clubs while working.
And while Mr. Murphy has a muscular body and turns muscle-bound body-builders into figures of fun, can he do that as well as Arnold Schwarzenegger? Mr. Murphy and "Metamurphosis Minor" will be clowning around for four more performances, from to-morrow through Sunday. See it for yourself (and take a small friend).