Mom Theatre Blogger: The Illusionists: Review by Robin Gorman Newman

Illusionists, The: ? Witness the Impossible Marquis TheatreIn a word….WOW!

The Illusionists – Witness The Impossible™ opened on Broadway Thursday, December 4 at the Marriott Marquis Theatre (1535 Broadway), and lives up to its name and more.  If you’re looking for fun, entertaining, glitzy, mystifying, unique family entertainment, look no further.

The two hour show features jaw-dropping talents of seven illusionists.  But, it’s more than just magic.  They adeptly engage the audience, and there’s a lot of laughter….pulling participants out of their seats – some eager — others caught off-guard but go along willingly.  Not only are they supreme illusionists, but some — Hobson, Trent and Sperry, particularly, excel at thinking on their feet and are quick-witted enough to engage in repartee with viewers of all ages….including a six year old boy who eagerly marched up on stage.


The seven stars, each a master in their own field, are:

• The Manipulator, Yu Ho-Jin. Considered a rising superstar in the world of magic; Yu Ho-Jin was recently named the 2014 “Magician of the Year,” by Academy of Magical Arts and was the first Asian to win the Grand Prix at the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques, also known as the “Olympics of Magic.”
• The Anti-Conjuror, Dan Sperry. Described as Marilyn Manson meets David Copperfield, Dan combines the art of magic with the macabre and is one of the top-10 most Googled people, thanks to his  “America’s Got Talent” appearance.
• The Trickster, Jeff Hobson — think Robin Williams meets Liberace (splashy dress) meets Red Buttons. is an excellent, “flaming”  showman and comic.
• The Escapologist, Andrew Basso. Italy’s star escape artist, Andrew is the only person in the world to perform Houdini’s famous Water Torture Cell with absolutely no covers.
illusionists2• The Inventor, Kevin James, known for innovative illusions, is an inventor, comedian and collector of the strange and unusual.
• The Warrior, Aaron Crow, a strong and silent type specializing in weapon magic, has mastered some of the most dangerous acts without saying a single word. Belgium’s international magic sensation, a first place finisher at the World Championships of Magic, he uses swords, paintball guns and powerful crossbows to keep fans on the edge of their seat.
• The Futurist, Adam Trent, brings a new generation of magic to fans fusing technology illusions, dancing and comedy with classic techniques.

Full of a wide array of magic tricks, death defying stunts and acts of breathtaking wonder, The Illusionists – Witness The Impossible™ has you asking over and over again, how did they do that?   A hand-held camera films the action close up and broadcasts it on a large screen, and  still no secrets are revealed.

Standout acts include:

Ho-Jin — who concludes the show with his masterful command of cards and a fluidity of hand movements that were almost balletic.

Trent — put a young, hip, modern spin on magic…..dancing along with high tech video projections.

James — the most jaw-dropping act — appears to cut a man in half…..and there are no words for the spectacle.

Sperry — a very cool, with a twist of Goth, act with doves and a Cockatoo.

Throw in smoke and mirrors (literally), music and lights, and backed by a cast of dancers, The Illusionists is a slick, well-crafted, if not at times Las Vegas-y, yet impressive magical showcase that will satisfy all ages.  My 11 year old was awestruck at times!

The Illusionists – Witness The Impossible™ plays a strictly limited six-week engagement through January 4, 2015 as part of a 30-city U.S. tour.  The show schedule is as follows:

Broadway’s Marriott Marquis Theatre, November 26, 2014-January 4, 2015
Washington, DC – The Kennedy Center, January 6 – 11, 2015
Dayton, OH – Schuster Center, January 13 – 14, 2015
Providence, RI – Providence Performing Arts Center, January 16 – 18, 2015
Indianapolis, IN – Old National Centre, January 20 – 25, 2015
Charlotte, NC – Knight Theater, January 27 – February 1, 2015
Schenectady, NY – Proctors Theatre, February 17 – 22, 2015
Philadelphia, PA – Academy of Music, February 24 – March 1, 2015
Rochester, NY – RBTL’s Auditorium Theatre, March 3 – 5, 2015
Buffalo, NY – Shea’s Performing Arts Center, March 6 – 8, 2015
Chicago, IL – Cadillac Palace Theatre, March 10 – 22, 2015
St. Paul, MN – Ordway Center for the Performing Arts – March 24 – 29, 2015
Dallas, TX – Music Hall at Fair Park, April 7 – 19, 2015
Detroit, MI – Fisher Theatre, April 28 – May 10, 2015
Tampa, FL – Straz Center, May 26 – May 31, 2015
Houston, TX – Jones Hall, June 2 – 6, 2015
San Jose, CA – San Jose Center, June 9 – 14, 2015
Seattle, WA – The 5th Avenue Theatre, June 16 – 21, 2015
Salt Lake City, UT – Capitol Theatre, June 23 – 28, 2015


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