If you are game for an energizing, awe-inspiring multi-media magical evening, The Illusionists, produced by Broadway Across Canada, and currently playing in downtown Vancouver is a definite must-see.
The evening was an experience that was like no other “magic show” I have ever seen. This fast-paced program was delightful. Surprisingly funny with intelligent humour (especially with colourful improv performer and television personality Adam Trent), dance, mind-boggling illusions, and heart-stopping dare-devil stunts by Jonathan Goodwin this is a show that will literally take your breath away. I loved this production.
With all the makings of a full-on variety show with unexpected and mesmerizing surprise elements, this top-quality production exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds. Artfully bringing together multiple genres, the cast included some of the world’s best illusionists, including multi-award-winning slight of hand illusionist An Ha Lim and The Grand Illusionist Darcy Oake. The only thing missing from the ensemble was female representation among the featured artists. Like most traditional magic shows, the enchantment was championed by only men, with the clearly talented women serving in a supportive capacity, providing the sex-appeal that has a history of being associated with such shows.
Because of the extremely dangerous dare-devil acts, you might want to think twice before bringing kids to this show if they already have a propensity for unsafe risk-taking behaviour or anyone with a health condition that would make the anxiety of watching the life-threatening feats unsafe for them to watch. Witnessing the Houdini-inspired straightjacket, the crossbow, and the scorpion in the mouth acts was difficult for even me and my friend to watch. While jaw-dropping, the very real fear that these acts arouse would definitely be too much for some viewers.
While audience participation is often an element in magic shows, the makers of this show engaged the entire audience in creative and fun ways that were as equally mind-blowing as the more conventional on-stage antics. Colin Cloud (aka The Deductionist) literally left everyone present wondering if indeed he was able to read every person’s mind in the massive Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
If wizardry, sensationalism, humour and mystery are your cup of tea, The Illusionists is a theatre experience that you will never forget.
The Illusionists by Broadway Across Canada is playing at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre until 20 January 2019.
~ reviewed by Theresa Nicassio PhD
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