The Illusionists: A Review

Last night, I was delighted by the “The Illusionists: Live From Broadway” at the Orpheum theater in Sioux City, IA. The show features seven magical personalities in a two plus hour spectacle.

Each magician performs as a prototype magician in a seamless show that overcomes one of the basic problems of the evening magic show: how does one provide variety while maintaining continuity?

Much of this success depends on the comedy of Trickster Jeff Hobson Dave Williamson, the whimsical visions of Inventor Kevin James, and the magnetic personality of Deductionist Colin Cloud. Their interactions with the volunteers and audience make the show work as a whole. Moreover, they each present masterful effects. Special mention must be made of Kevin James’ unique sawed-in-half.

By themselves, Hobson Williamson, Cloud and James, would be enough reason to endorse this show, but Weapon Master Ben Blaque and Escapologist Andrew Blazzo add danger and excitement to the show in just the right portion.

An Ha Lim, the Manipulator, is a master, and one of my magician heroes. His card productions and manipulation are a beauty that reach the level of art.

I left Anti-conjuror Dan Sperry for last. What can be said? His Edward Scissorhands meets Harry Anderson with just of touch of Lance Burton persona was alternately and collectively comic, macabre and wizardly.

As I walked out of the theater I said to my former assistant magician: the lesson is to take a great idea and push it to its logical limit. That is The Illusionists. Magician or fan go see their show.

Update: Many thanks to magician friends Dave Tenneboe and Dave Madsen for pointing out that Jeff Hobson was replaced by the hilarious Dave Williamson for the evening’s performance.

3 Replies to “The Illusionists: A Review”

  1. Jim, but it wasn’t Hobson as the Trickster. Hobson was in the program, who I was looking forward to seeing because in had seen him in Vegas some years ago but the guy in the show was Dave someone, if I remember his name correctly. I’ve seen him before also, at the Norfolk, NE Comedy Festival a couple years ago.

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