Monday, June 29, 2015

Now you see it, now you wonder

I promised the publicist for "The Illusionists" I would write a review on their show when we talked about my doing an advance for The Deseret News.
I would have written one anyway because I liked their show, a lot!
And that's considering I hadn't heard about this group of magical people before I was asked to do a piece about their stop in Salt Lake.
I had to look them up and read press releases and talk to John Tellum and to Kevin James (who plays "The Inventor" in the show).
I found out about their appearances on "America's Got Talent" and the many, MANY, awards and prizes they've won across the globe competing in various magic contests.
Yu Ho-Jin, known in the group as "The Manipulator" is just a teenager from South Korea...who must have the ability to hide multiple decks of cards in his open hands because he keeps bringing another one out.
Jeff Hobson, "The Trickster," is a kind of Liberace clone who is funny, warm and good with magic as well. (Just ask the people from whom he lifted watches while everyone was looking on!)
He and "The Futurist" make the show fun with a variety of mind-blowing tricks that are one thing on television, quite another in real life.
I enjoyed Dan Sperry, "The Anti-Conjourist," when I didn't expect to. He's painted and shaved and has long greasy-looking hair and basically resembles a movie zombie but he's funny and sweet.
I grew to look forward to his appearances on stage even though some of his tricks were gross...pulling a string from his mouth and then a vein in his forehead and eating razor blades that he later retrieved in a line.
"The Weaponist" had an interesting attitude also as he brought a couple up to help him perform dangerous tricks with an arrow and an apple.
 "The Inventor" somehow helped a young girl from the audience make the clump of paper in her hand wiggle and squirm. Then it turned into a real rose.
He made snow fall up.
The only one I had trouble watching was "The Escapologist." I hate those kinds of tricks because there's too much of a chance that something could go wrong and I would have watched someone die. (Spoiler alert: Andrew Basso doesn't die. He gets out of the water, the handcuffs, and the foot locks just in time!)
The show is over in Salt Lake but they have a tour starting up again in September with shows that are fairly close.
If you get the chance, take it and go see these guys:
They can make a whole train appear with them on stage.
They can cut people in half and staple the pieces back together. They can build a little person out of spare parts.
They are professional, creative, funny and totally engaging.
It's magic that entrances.

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