“The Illusionists – Witness the Impossible” debuted in November in the Marquis Theatre in New York City’s Times Square. Since then, the show has been proving very popular. The old-fashioned carnival barker language is part of the fun. “This mind-blowing spectacular showcases the jaw-dropping talents of seven of the most incredible illusionists on earth,” the promoters promise. They add that the show is “full of hilarious magic tricks, death-defying stunts and acts of breathtaking wonder.”
Who are these magnificent seven? One is “the Manipulator,” Yo Ho-Jin, a Korean talent the magic world considers “a rising superstar.” Another is “the Anti-Conjurer,” Dan Sperry. Sperry made a memorable appearance on “America’s Got Talent” and has been described as “Marilyn Manson Meets David Copperfield.”
Then there’s “the Trickster,” Jeff Hobson. And “the Escapologist,” Andrew Basso. The suave Basso, who treads in Houdini’s disappearing footsteps, is Italy’s star escape artist. He claims, in his alluring accent, to be the only person in the world to perform Houdini’s famous Water Torture Cell escape feat with absolutely no covers.
“The Inventor,” Kevin James, creates his own unique illusions. “The Warrior,” Aaron Crow, is a mute master of the art of paintball guns, swords and powerful crossbows. He is described as “a strong and silent type specializing in weapon magic who has mastered some of the most dangerous acts without saying a single word.”
Finally comes “the Futurist,” Adam Trent, who mixes technological illusions with comedy and dance. His act has old-fashioned elements: one clip on YouTube showed him clowning with a miniature Charlie Chaplin.
These seven gentlemen, heir to a proud tradition, promise to mesmerize Shea’s Performing Arts Center in five performances this weekend. Performances are 8 p.m. Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1 and 6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $38-$68 at the Shea’s box office, or by calling (800) 745-3000.
– Mary Kunz Goldman