Third Year Running for this Evolving Magic Show
On November 25, 2016, The Illusionists – Turn of the Century began performances at the Palace Theatre. Unlike most Broadway shows, this spectacle event will not have a separate opening night, or therefore any preview performances. Rather, these magicians know what they’re doing with such confidence that they launched onto the stage, ready for reviewers to come get them right away. This is the third consecutive holiday season in which The Illusionists, in some form, have graced the Broadway stage for a magic show in high gear. In the winter of 2014 to 2015, the Illusion Director, as he was credited, was Mark Kalin, who directed seven magicians performing a high-energy show accompanied by an ensemble of magician’s assistants, going by wild names ranging from the Escapologist to the Anti-Conjurer to the Manipulator. In the winter of 2015 to 2016, Mark Kalin returned as Illusion Director, with a new grouping of magicians, some returning from the previous year, and some new. This year, the winter of 2016 to 2017, the show has returned with the same title – The Illusionists. However, in addition to a new subtitle – Turn of the Century – there is an entirely new group of seven magicians, including, for the first time, Mark Kalin onstage, this time credited as The Showman. The only other repeat magician is Jonathan Goodwin, the Daredevil, who also appeared last year but not the first year.
Among the new magic talents joining for this season’s incarnation of The Illusionists are Thommy Ten and Amélie van Tass, who together go by the name of the Clairvoyants. These magicians came to national renown through their performance on the NBC television show America’s Got Talent, where they were crowned as the runners-up for the 2016 rendition of the series. This duo hails from Vienna, Austria, and have been performing for years together on a variety of cruise ships, shows, and corporate events. They not only got onto the very competitive show America’s Got Talent, but they made it all the way to the grand finale, losing only to Grace VanderWaal, the 12 year-old prodigy singer and ukulelist. On America’s Got Talent, the Clairvoyants demonstrated many outstanding mentalist tricks including predicting an item from Heidi Klum’s purse, writing the expiration date and last four digits of Simon Cowell’s credit card while submerged into a water tank, and pulling out a series of numbers related to the antics of the judges, which happened to correspond to a real lottery ticket. The judge Howie Mandel remarked that he has been on the show for seven years, and this act was the most amazing thing he had ever seen.
Broadway Cast of All Stars Harking Back to the Heyday of Magic
In addition to Mark Kalin – the Showman, Jonathan Goodwin – the Daredevil, and Thommy Ten and Amélie van Tass – the Clairvoyants, the other members of the Broadway cast include Dana Daniels – the Charlatan, Charlie Frye – the Eccentric, Justo Thaus Jin – the Grand Carlini, Jinger Leigh – the Conjuress, and Rick Thomas – the Immortal. These highly intriguing names all refer to the specialty acts of each performer. While many are making their Broadway debuts, they are all extremely experienced performers, magicians, and mentalists. The Illusionists – Turn of the Century is scheduled for a limited engagement to conclude on January 1, 2017. The show is directed by Neil Dorward, who has directed all three of The Illusionists engagements. It is produced by the same producer of the show each of the three years, Simon Painter, along with Tim Lawson, MagicSpace Entertainment, and Road Show Entertainment LLC.
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