That Physics Show
Created by and Featuring Dave Maiullo
The Elktra Theater
By Lauren Yarger
Who thought physics could be so much fun? That Physics Show is an entertaining demonstration of the laws of physics, all made interesting and fun by performer/teacher Dave Maiullo, who created the show which has moved to the larger Elektra after a sod-out run at New York's 62-seat Playroom Theater,
Whether he is using a fire extinguisher to propel himself cross the stage, floating Coke cans, making light bubs out of pickles or lying on a bed of nails, among the intriguing demonstrations, Maiullo and his assistants, Jordan Bunshaft, Jack Herholdt and Kelsey Lane Dies (two appear on stage), have the audience's attention. On the day I attended, that meant a bunch of school students who bused in for the show (thank God for teachers who use theater to enhance their curriculum). The kids were fully engaged and practically jumped out of their seats to raise a hand to volunteer to help with some of the demonstrations.
Truth be told, at least one adult in the audience learned a few things too, particularly about how energy is transformed into waves (I didn't pick that up in high school science). Maiullo uses a lot of visual aids (a prop in the shape of the state of New Jersey, for example, is used to show center of mass.) He also uses examples that we are familiar with already to ease the learning curve. We might not know WHY we're going to experience a shock from static electricity in a certain instance, but because we do know to expect a shock, Maiullo easily leads us into the physics laws at play.
Every school kid should get to experience science like this. Not only is it fun, but it's learning that sticks with you and I already have recommended it to school groups.
That Physics Show features segments on motion, momentum, vacuum, friction, energy, density, fluid motion, sound waves and sound vibration, light waves and temperature -- all in just 80 minutes. It;s magic! No, It's physics, but fun.
Maiullo has been a physics demonstrator at Rutgers University for more than 20 years and most recently became a regular on “The Weather Channel” and a presenter at national physics festivals.
That Physics Show plays at the Elektra Theater, 300 West 43rd St,. NYC.Performance times vary.
Tickets $39-$49: thatphysicsshow.com
Additional Credits: Lighting Design: Joan Racho-Jansen