Henrik Bothe will bring his vaudeville styling to Hilo this weekend with “The Henrik Maneuver.”
The show is 7 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 23) at The Palace Theater, 38 Haili St.
“My show, I call it a physical comedy show because it’s not just a comedy show, not just a magic show … it’s everything,” said Bothe. “It’s a variety show. In the old days they used (to call it) vaudeville.”
Bothe (pronouned Bo-ta), said he spins plates, and escapes a straight jacket much like Harry Houdini, “except I do it while riding a unicycle.”
“What I love is to bring vaudeville back to an old vaudeville theater like the Palace is,” he said. “(The) history is so rich. I’m just so happy to know and see it’s functioning and it’s part of the community here.”
Bothe was born in Denmark and became a performer while traveling the world in the early 1980s, but has long had ties to the Big Island.
As a street performer in both the United States and Europe, Bothe teamed up a partner to form the comedy duo “Twist and Shout.”
In 1986, Bothe — who has appeared on “America’s Got Talent,” the recent revival of “The Gong Show,” the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and on television around the world — received a call about a juggling festival in lower Puna.
It took “three nanoseconds” to agree to attend, he said. In the middle of a Denmark winter, “when the sun comes up at 9 and goes down at 3, going to Hawaii is about the best idea I’d ever heard.”
Bothe later was one of 30 jugglers who joined together to purchase 10 acres of land in lower Puna known as Bellyacres, which spawned Hawaii’s Volcano Circus.
After his first visit to the Big Island in 1987, Bothe said he spent two months every year here and in 1994 moved to Hawaii Island permanently for eight years before relocating to the mainland. He now lives in Portland.
While he has performed at the Palace Theater before with Hawaii’s Volcano Circus, Saturday’s performance is the first time he’ll perform solo.
“People should come if they want to expect authentic comedy,” Bothe said. “I like to make it so what I perform is not necessarily easy for me, but I want to make it so it’s engaging. I kind of try and stretch myself to reach above and beyond my limits and make it real for people.”
The show is appropriate for all ages.
“If you like to laugh as a kid, you should come. If you like to laugh as an adult (you should come). If you don’t like to laugh, maybe you should change and come there and be changed.”
Bothe also encouraged event-goers to arrive early because there will be a “little bit of a magic pre-show. Sit in the front row and be amazed with close-up magic (and) minor miracles. …Don’t come late because you might miss something.”
General admission tickets are $25, side reserved seats are $30 and center reserved seats are $35. Tickets are $5 more the day of the show.
Purchase tickets online at bit.ly/HenrikManeuver.
Doors open at 6 p.m.
Email Stephanie Salmons at firstname.lastname@example.org.