Regional Reviews: Seattle
The IllusionistsWitness the Impossible Mesmerizes at 5th Avenue
Also see David's review of Slaughterhouse-Five
Yu Ho-Jin ("The Manipulator") wasn't named Magician of the Year by The Academy of Magical Arts for nothing. His focus is on card tricks, performed in a very Zen and hypnotic manner, and he is quite spellbinding. Jeff Hobson ("The Trickster") is part Jack Cassidy, part Paul Lynde and, mixing humor with magic, quite a show-stealer. Adam Trent ("The Futurist") does wonders incorporating modern multi-media with his magic, and gives the freshest take on the form in the show. Andrew Basso ("The Escapologist") honors the master, Harry Houdini, with his thrilling and nerve-wracking Water Torture Cell. Intermission follows this act and a good thing, too, as it will leave you breathless and in need of air yourself!
Aaron Crow ("The Warrior") uses devices like swords and crossbows to weave his spell; Kevin James ("The Inventor") mixes comedy with his unique creations; Dan Sperry as "The Anti-Conjuror," a Marilyn Manson-esque figure, is the most macabre of the artists. The production surrounding these performers is top-notch, with effects, costumes, and lighting plus dancers and musicians thrown in for good measure. The packed house at the 5th Avenue was more the sort you would see in a huge arena, but luckily there was a sizable video screen onstage to make the tricks easy to watch and marvel at.
The Illusionists was a welcome change in my itinerary of reviewing, and kids, parents and mingling singles should enjoy it thoroughly. Limited run in Seattle, so beware, now you see it, now you don't!
The Illusionists runs through June 21 at , 5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 Fifth Ave., Seattle; $33-$129 at 206-625-1900 or www.5thavenue.org. For more information on the tour, visit www.theillusionistslive.com/tour.
- David Edward Hughes