The Illusionists conjure laughter and mystery

Photo courtesy of The Illusionists

The captivating “Illusionists: Live From Broadway” show has come to the Fabulous Fox Theater, and audiences are sure to be amazed. The Illusionists are seven magicians gathered from all corners of the earth, each with their own unique style and act.  The Illusionists blend technology, music and magic to create a one-of-a-kind show that brings both awe and laughter. The Illusionists will be performing from Sep. 27 through Oct. 2 at the Fox Theater in Atlanta.

“The Trickster,” Jeff Hobson, a 15-year-veteran of Las Vegas shows, leads the team of world-class magicians. His hilarious comedic magic warms up the crowd from the start and often enlists members of the audience to play along in his show of wit and skill. Next up is the strange “Anti- Conjuror,” Dan Sperry. Originally gaining fame through YouTube, Sperry’s “shock illusion” adds very eccentric, bizarre and stomach-turning acts to the show.

“The Manipulator,” Yu Ho-Jin, enthralls the audience with the elegant slight of hand that won him Magician of the Year in 2014. “The Deductionist,” Colin Cloud, is a modern day Sherlock Holmes and mind reader. “The Inventor,” Kevin James, treats the audience to acts with science fiction themes. “The Escapologist,” Andrew Basso, performs a modern day Houdini style escape act that has audiences holding their breath in anticipation. Finally, “The Weapon Master,” Ben Blaque, shows off his skills with a crossbow in a dangerous exhibition of marksmanship.

One of the most fun and engaging acts of the show was Cloud’s mind reading act. Cloud has a degree in forensic investigation, and he uses his skills to read people and to manipulate them. He starts by picking two members of the audience to directly participate, and gives them each a card with a question to answer.

While the two write down their secret answers, he engages the audience with a “which hand is the coin in” trick. Then he proceeds to correctly deduce the answer to each of the chosen persons question. He even manipulates one of the participants into reading his own mind.

Another fantastic act was that of “The Anti-illusionist.” After poking fun at the classic “rabbit in the hat joke” with a unique take of his own, Sperry performs a special coin trick. He picks an audience member to aid him in his cringe worthy trick of making a coin disappear and reappear “somewhere impossible.” He has the participant mark each side of a coin, and then enlists their help in making it disappear into his eye socket.

All the while, Sperry is cracking jokes and making fun of the uncomfortable participant. Then, in his true fashion, he produces his magic wand, which happens to be a knife, and brutally appears to cut his own arm open to reveal the coin inside. Seeing the look on the participant’s face as Sperry had her confirm the reality of the coin sent the audience rolling with laughter.

On a more serious note, Ho-Jin, “The Manipulator,” displayed some of the most refined sleight of hand ever displayed. Set to an enchanting track, Ho-Jin gently and deftly produces cards from thin air, sometimes causing them change shape or appearance. He seems to be able to produce any number of cards from his fingertips, and can appear to heal torn cards.

The show was full of spectacular stagecraft, and the audience participation in many acts helped to truly engage everyone. People were kept on their toes throughout the performance. Never before has such a talented group of magicians been brought together to form one show, and they live up to their reputations as some of the world’s best.

This show is perfect for people of all ages who want to be amazed and made to laugh.