Is magic. Literally.
Last Friday night, I went to see The Illusionists at the Palace Theatre. I’ve seen so many shows at the Palace over the last couple of decades because the place is so friggin’ huge that nothing can fill it. I mean, take a walk down from the balcony and you’ll feel like you’re walking to the bowels of the Titanic. It’s insane. And sitting in the balcony? You’ll get vertigo. But all that aside, I was interested in seeing The Illusionists to see what exactly they’d show me.
I assumed the theatre would be mostly empty because The Illusionists isn’t even a real Broadway show and who the hell is coming to see this?! Turns out: everyone is coming to see this. Well, probably mostly tourists, but the theatre was 80% full at least, and this is a really hard thing to do for most shows that are in that theatre.
I knew it’d basically be a magic show and not an actual Broadway show. I knew the skeptic in me would basically look for the first opportunity to say, “Oh I can see the string that it’s hanging on,” but whatever. I’m a New Yorker, what do you expect?
I have to say I was most impressed with The Clairvoyants, Thommy Ten and Amelie Van Tass, and The Daredevil, Jonathan Goodwin. I am still dying to know whether or not The Clairvoyants acts were set up but if they weren’t, they were really impressive. Impressive like picking a random person out of the audience, guessing they had a cell phone and what color and service provider they used.
And Jonathan Goodwin, well, he was absolutely insane. He’s known worldwide as the closest thing we have a real life super hero and for a good reason. He’s an escape artist with a love for Houdini. One of his acts included handcuffing his hands behind his back, holding onto a sharp object with his teeth, while being raised over 3 foot spikes and trying to free himself from the handcuffs. Oh, and the rope that was suspending him over the aforementioned spikes was on fire.
There was also a short scene by a puppeteer, Justo Thaus, with a marionette doll that was really adorable, and Charlie Frye, The Eccentric, who has a knack for juggling and acrobatics, as well as Dana Daniels, The Charlatan, who loves balancing things (like chairs) on his face.
I yawned and thought it was super cheesy any time a ball was “floating” in the air (pretty sure it wasn’t) but other than that, I found all of the acts really impressive. Did the show need to be two acts? No. An hour and forty-five minutes would’ve sufficed. But if you find yourself looking to be entertained with an unconventional show in midtown, The Illusionists might just be the ticket you’re looking for.