BWW Review: THE ILLUSIONISTS Sparks Magic in Vancouver!
Widened eyes, dropped jaws, and huge smiles filled the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver this Tuesday during the opening night of THE ILLUSIONISTS: LIVE FROM BROADWAY presented by Broadway Across Canada. The show runs until January 20th and features Colin Cloud (The Mentalist), Jonathan Goodwin (The Daredevil), An Ha Lim (The Manipulator), Adam Trent (The Futurist), and Darcy Oake (The Grand Illusionist). Straying away from the previous musicals Broadway Across Canada has brought this 2018/19 season, THE ILLUSIONISTS changed up the lineup with its delightful magic show featuring a multitude of different tricks and stunts.
Each performer wowed the audience with their own acts focusing on different genres of magic and stunts. Colin Cloud began the show with his impressive mind-reading tricks. Jonathan Goodwin left everyone on the edge of their seats with his death-defying daredevil stunts. An Ha Lim performed an exquisitely beautiful act involving playing cards and Darcy Oake who left the audience speechless with his acts of illusion. Adam Trent appeared multiple times during the show performing a variety of different magic tricks including some requiring supplies from the audience.
The show was comprised of a mixture of large-scale tricks/stunts and smaller ones featuring sleight of hand magic. While the large-scale tricks/stunts were flashy and involved many large props, I was thoroughly impressed with the smaller scale sleight of hand magic tricks. Often involving just a deck of cards or a small prop, these smaller tricks highlighted the true essence of magic. For these tricks, a camera capturing live video filmed the trick and was projected on the big screens in the theatre. Due to the close proximity of the camera recording, each performer could not afford any slip-ups as they would be easily seen on the big screen. With their swift movements and charismatic stage presence, all of the performers did not disappoint and left everyone shocked and completely blown away.
Two things about THE ILLUSIONISTS that stood out for me was the humour incorporated into each act and the amount of audience participation they encouraged during the show. Both Colin Cloud and Adam Trent excelled at utilizing these aspects into their performances. As Cloud specialized in the "mind-reading" type tricks, his entire act relied on the participation from members from the audience. Cloud's subtle humour within his conversations with volunteers chosen from the crowd had me smiling all night. Trent appeared several times during the show to perform several tricks including ones that required him leave the stage and move into the audience. I admire Trent's confidence and ability to really connect with his audience. The amount of audience participation in the show provided a further connection between the performers and the crowd allowing for a very immersive experience.
Overall, THE ILLUSIONISTS was a compelling show that effectively explored different aspects of magic and stunts. Being different from the other shows of Broadway Across Canada's 2018-19 season, it was refreshing to experience something new. Having a mixture of different kinds of acts varying in length and subject matter, the show was put together very well making me want to explore more shows just like it in the future!
THE ILLUSIONISTS: LIVE FROM BROADWAY is currently playing at Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Theatre from January 15th to 20th. Tickets are available at https://www.ticketmaster.ca/ or by calling 1-855-682-6768.
Photo Credit: Danielle Baugley, 2018