This past Tuesday night. “The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible” made a memorable appearance at Capitol Theatre as part of a nine show run that ends on June 28th.

“The Illusionists” brings a Broadway style, Las Vegas influenced spectacle to Capitol Theatre that incorporates the talents of seven of the best magicians in the world including Andrew Basso (as The Escapologist), Aaron Crow (The Warrior), Jeff Hobson (The Trickster), Yu Ho-Jin (The Manipulator), Dan Sperry (The Anti-Conjurer), Adam Trent (The Futurist) and Kevin James (The Inventor). Each magician brings a unique set of talents to the stage that far exceeds the standard magician fare of cheap coin and rabbit tricks.

It would be a treat in itself just to have one of these seven skilled illusionists perform, much less a venue that showcases all of their talents in an awe-inspiring manner. While it might seem like a challenge to find a way to fit all those egos and talents into one cohesive performance perhaps the true magic of their show is how they are able to accomplish just that.

Each magician brings a unique skill set and personality that makes the nearly three hour performance fly by. From the moment the charismatic Trent appears on the stage with his engaging dialogue and his useful ability to project himself across the theatre all while wearing a GoPro camera it’s quite evident the audience is in for as magical evening. It’s impossible to be bored at the sight of the delightful Hobson, who manages to pull off wearing ruby red slippers while delivering a nearly spot on impersonation of Robin Williams and dancing.

Some of the Illusionists charm with their voice while others don’t use their voice at all, like the Crow, whose imposing silence and intense gaze is matched only by his ability to shoot an arrow through an apple from across the stage while spinning in a circle. Ho-Jin doesn’t say a word during his two performances but he doesn’t have to, as his logic-defying feats with a scarf and playing cards set to a thematic musical score are perhaps the best magic of the evening.

Sperry stands out as arguably the most entertaining magician, with a gothic teen angst persona that translates into an incredibly funny routine that could stand alone yet still involves Russian Roulette with a unsuspecting audience member and birds that magically appear and disappear from both flames and handkerchiefs. If that isn’t enough to pique your interest I still haven’t mentioned the insanely creative talents of James, who pulls off the mad scientist routine in both looks and his ability to cut what appears to be actual people in half and then have the amputated body parts move all on their own before putting them back together again.

You may have seen a few good magicians here and there and perhaps you have even made the trek to Las Vegas to see the likes of David Copperfield, but there is nothing like the spectacle of seeing seven of the most creative and dynamic magicians in the world perform together on one stage. By the end of the evening the ten year old in me was alive and well thanks to an incredible collective performance that left me believing in magic once again.

a.clark@chronicle.utah.edu

@TheChrony

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