I witnessed the best eclectic mix of magic, illusions and trickery I’ve ever seen recently.
The Palace Theater – for this performance feels more like intimate, Vegas showroom than Broadway Theater – is home to the latest Great White Way must-see, The Illusionists: Turn of the Century. Prepare to be delighted, mesmerized, dumbstruck and continuously wondering, “how the heck did they do that?”
The show transported the audience back 100 years to a time when legendary magicians and feats of vaudeville — like Harry Houdini — ruled the stage with their shocking and dangerous performances. We’re treated to world-class illusionists from around the world who each have a unique area of expertise. They keep the show moving rapidly and the audience on the edge of its seats.
The biggest laughs went to Charlie Frye, The Eccentric. His style of juggling, facial expressions and magnetic charm were a thrill to observe. The talent that Frye possesses was unbelievable and the audience is fortunate to be a fly on the wall for a few minutes to see him relish in his comfort zone.
The biggest surprise came from The Grand Carlini — Justo Thaus. I’ve always been fascinated by puppetry and marionettes. His innovative way of crossing magic with puppetry was an absolute winning combination. I’m still reflecting on how unusual and creative it was to enjoy The Grand Carlini’s simple comedic illusions performed by his marionette.
The most impressive and mind-boggling performance in The Illusionists was, hands-down, The Clairvoyants — Thommy Ten and Amelie van Tass. I’ve never watched an episode of “America’s Got Talent” in my life, but it didn’t stop me from falling in love with this dynamic duo and yearning for more even after the final curtain fell. Initially, I wanted the skilled mentalist, Amelie, to fail in one of her predictions. Consequently, I was quickly won over by her charming performance and rooting for her to triumph until the very end.
How could Amelie know the entire serial number of the $10 dollar bill in an audience member’s pocket? How could she know that the retired woman in Row M was holding a cigarette lighter? How could she know a man named “Phil” would catch the ball that Thommy Ten would toss out into the audience? How could she type a letter of numerous predictions during intermission and all of them panned out by the final act? Was it all staged? Did they have micro-casino cameras installed throughout the theater? Does Amelie van Tass truly have a “sixth” sense?
Bottom line: you have to see it to believe it!
The Illusionists: Turn of the Century is only running on Broadway in New York City through January 1, 2017, so get your tickets quickly before the show DISAPPEARS.
One final note: Even though the show caters to an adult audience, I believe any child age 7 would enjoy the performance.
Disclosure: ‘The Illusionists’ provided complimentary tickets to facilitate this review. However, the thoughts and opinions shared in this review are 100 percent our own and haven’t been influenced just because we received free tickets.