A review by Rachel Flanagan
Photographer: Tyukodi Laszlo
The Illusionists -
Live from Broadway has come to Hollywood at the Pantages Theatre to continue to dazzle and amaze audiences with some of the most unbelievable and awe-inspiring performances that have already crushed box office records around the world. This show features seven of the most talented illusionists on the planet each putting their own twist on their illusion specialties. Each performer has had success on their own but the Illusionists put them together for the first time that you just have to see to believe. The collective result is an electrifying presentation of epic proportions that will be sure to delight audiences of all ages.
The Weapon Master, Ben Blaque, displays his skills with a crossbow by
performing daring acts of agility by shooting objects from across the stage with the help of an assistant. After falling in love with magic and illusion working in Branson, Missouri, Ben wanted to make a name for himself with his own act. He will not just show you how good of an aim he has by shooting one target, but often multiple targets with the tiniest margin for error. Even with a blindfold, his aim is on point, for if he misses by even the slightest millimeter his act would turn from dangerously entertaining to frightening.
Terrified is what Andrew Basso, The Escapologist, makes you feel when he performs the famous
Houdini Water Torture Cell escape. When Houdini performed, a curtain blocked the audience from viewing the escape for fear that the audience would see his demise rather than an escape but Andrew Basso shocks audiences by performing his escapes in full view of the audience and right in front of a camera. Lock him up and throw away the key, the escapologist will always find his way out much t o the delight of the audience.
Yu Ho-Jin, will enchant the audience with a fascinating performance of "now you s ee it, now you don't" card tricks but these are not your average tricks. In 2014, he was named Magician of the year by the Academy of Magical Arts. A master of manipulation, Yu Ho-Jin can make a deck of cards appear, disappear and change right before your eyes and complete with a smile ensuring that he is having just as much fun as you are.
Disappearing right before your eyes is something that James More, the Deceptionist, masters. The Deceptionist performed a trick on
Britain's Got Talent that impressed viewers so much that nearly 54 Million people have viewed the YouTube video of the performance. You will see this trick live right in front of your eyes during his performance at Pantages. James takes the art of illusion and turns it on its head keeping you wondering where he went, how he did that and what he's going to do next.
Keeping the audience guessing is the Futurist, Adam Trent. He will impress you with his dance skills and make you laugh, that is until he destroys your iPhone. With appearances on
Good Morning America, America's Got Talent, and winner of SyFy Channels
Wizard Wars, Adam has been entertaining audiences nationwide. One of the tricks he performs stunned
Today, when they thought he destroyed Matt Lauer's iPhone only to find it appear in a completely unexpected place. Perhaps he will use your phone in his next trick as Adam incorporates audience participation into his act.
Kevin James, the Inventor, performed an illusion with an audience member on the floor right in front of where I was sitting and everyone around me kept asking, "Did you see how he did it?" when a young girl in the audience helped make a crumpled up piece of paper come to life. He may be a collector of the strange and unusual and he may swing an ax, but the Inventor will always take a moment to remind you that magic and illusions can renew the sense of wonder that you felt as a child and stop and smell the magical roses and enjoy the wintery snow.
Dan Sperry, the Anti-Conjuror, is Marilyn Manson meets David Copperfield meets Andy Dick. The Anti-Conjuror is shock, comedy and illusion all mixed into one. With a unique style and unusual act, some of his illusions may not be for the light hearted, like his well-known candy and floss trick, but he also takes a twist on the classic tricks with birds and pulling rabbits out of a hat. This illusionist may shock you into becoming a full-fledged fan.
If the eccentric stylings of the Anti-Conjuror do not blow your mind then maybe the hilarious and fashionable stylings of
the Trickster will do the trick.Jeff Hobson has more costume changes then Cher but that is not a trick. He will make you laugh and entertain you throughout the evening with all sorts of twists on classic illusions with disappearing eggs, card tricks and even reading your mind. Jeff Hobson is the "Host of Las Vegas" with over 15 years of showmanship, there is no doubt he will leave you feeling entertained.
Here are some additional tips for engaging with the show and possibly being a part of the show! Bring your kids. There may be some adult humor but nothing a younger child would notice and nothing offensive. Do not think you have to sit up front. The Illusionists will choose audience participants from the back, the sides and the front of the theatre so anyone has the opportunity to be a participant. Bring some money, dollar bills and quarters. Wear a watch and bring your friends iPhone 6, but be aware you might lose it at some point during the show (though you will probably get it back). Have fun, magic is not only a fascinating art form but it is an interactive art form and the more fun you have the more fun the Illusionists will have too!
The Illusionists live from Broadway is performing at the Pantages Theatre now through March 13, 2016. Come see the mind-blowing spectacular live on stage because like with most illusions, now you see it and now you don't!