BWW Review: THE ILLUSIONISTS at Music Hall At Fair Park
At its best, theatre is an escape from our day-to-day lives, a mirror to society, and an opportunity to see something special. But, when that mirror is combined with a little smoke, the escape turns into an incredible disappearing act, the special becomes magical and the audience is spellbound.
Dallas Summer Musicals' current showing, THE ILLUSIONISTS, is an electrifying series of magic show acts by some of the country's best modern magicians: The Anti-Conjuror (Dan Sperry), The Trickster (Jeff Hobson), The Inventor (Kevin James), The Escapologist (Andrew Basso), The Deductionist (Colin Cloud), The Daredevil (Jonathan Goodwin), and The Manipulator (An Ha Lim). Their magical monikers may only offer a vague description of their mind-boggling skill, but that's exactly how this kind of theatre is most effective. Also, despite the catchy title, much of the enchantment onstage isn't illusion at all...although I'd bet you'll never figure out how they do what they do (I know I can't)!
So, what can you anticipate from an act that shouldn't (and probably couldn't) be described in advance? Forget about card tricks and your standard rabbit-out-of-a-hat "magic show" (although, they're there, too...kind of). THE ILLUSIONISTS are a team of edgy and exciting artists whose flashy revue feels like a two-hour escape to Vegas. Without any cheesy through line or story, each of the seven stars takes the stage to display their most impressive acts, although it's clear as a crystal ball that there are more tricks up their individual sleeves. The eighth star of the show is the projection screen, brought to life by onstage and offstage cameramen, who make sure every guest receives a front-row experience from their seat no matter where they're actually seated.
Although there are plenty of acts that are literally death-defying, the greatest stress may be for those introverts who have no stage aspirations. Guests from the front row were frequently engaged, and ticket-buyers from all over the theatre (including the balcony), were brought into the action during several of the acts.
If you want to see what the buzz is all about before they disappear into the night, THE ILLUSIONISTS performs on Dallas Summer Musicals' Fair Park stage through tomorrow: Sunday, March 5th. Tickets and more information are available by magically clicking here.