Broadway in Chicago THE ILLUSIONISTS Review – Heart Stopping Thrills The Whole Night

Arrows are shot from a crossbow...

A man is severed in half....

A quarter is pulled from the gut.

All of these spectacles and more await during two hours of the heart stopping, adrenaline racing, you-won’t-believe-your-eyes performance of THE ILLUSIONISTS.

Broadway in Chicago THE ILLUSIONISTS
Jeff Hobson as The Trickster Photo: Courtesy of Broadway in Chicago

Not Your Everyday Magic Show

THE ILLUSIONISTS come from their recent Broadway run on a national tour around the U.S. As they remarked, they had just visited Muncie, Indiana and received a much different response than their audience in Chicago. Perhaps we’re a much more enthusiastic bunch, or just really like interacting with our shows. The audience was laughing and having a blast participating with the performers as they worked their magic on the crowd - both literally and figuratively.

You’ll find many parts of this magic show familiar. There’s the element of engaging the crowd - asking audience members to join them on stage to help. There’s the “is this your card?” trick. There’s even a bunny coming out of a hat.

However, even though all these tricks may seem run of the mill, each has its own unique twist. This is what makes THE ILLUSIONISTS so brilliant - every single one of their tricks is done to the most heightened state it could be in. Like that bunny coming out of the hat? Instead of it being pulled out by a magician, it’s actually blasted right out

Broadway in Chicago THE ILLUSIONISTS
Kevin James as The Inventor Photo: Courtesy of Broadway in Chicago
Broadway in Chicago THE ILLUSIONISTS
Dan Sperry as The Anti-Conjuror Photo: Courtesy of Broadway in Chicago

The Illusionists Performers Make the Show

All of the illusionists are incredible in each of their respective acts. They each have their own trademark and signature talent:

The Trickster, Jeff Hobson acts as the perfect host for the show with his quippy one liners and charming persona as he works his way through the audience.

The Inventor, Kevin James, has taken on the role of mad scientist and performs some very Frankenstein-esque illusions.

Accurately described as “Marilyn Manson meets David Copperfield,” Dan Sperry is the Anti-Conjuror and makes things appear and disappear in his body with macabre and sarcasm.

The Manipulator, An Ha Lim, pulls playing cards out of absolutely thin air in a combination of illusion and dance.

A modern day Sherlock, except he’s Scottish, Colin Cloud baffles the audience with his ability to read minds as The Deductionist.

The Daredevil, Jonathan Goodwin, amazes with not only his precise crossbow skills, but the ability to do it blindfolded and while aiming at his brave assistant.

Finally, there is The Escapologist, Andrew Basso, who will have you literally holding your breath and on the edge of your seat as he performs Houdini’s famous water torture escape.

Broadway in Chicago THE ILLUSIONISTS
Colin Cloud as The Deductionist Photo: Courtesy of Broadway in Chicago
Broadway in Chicago THE ILLUSIONISTS
An Ha Lim as The Manipulator Photo: Courtesy of Broadway in Chicago

Each and every of them are fantastic in their own unique way. They all have perfected their mastery of illusions, are funny, and truly captivate their audiences the entire show. You’re sure to pick a favorite when you go - whether it be the one of the daring stunts or the astounding mind manipulation - there’s no weak link in their lineup!

Amazing Level of Artistry in the Show

This is not your ordinary magic show, not just in the tricks performed, but also because of the level of theatricality that is put into the show. Usually a magic show has the magician onstage with perhaps a simple background and some props having to do with the trick.

But with THE ILLUSIONISTS, everything is thought out and executed in the way you expect a theatrical show would be. The costumes, the lighting, the sound, even the choreography are all there to create this magnificent, in your face, bold performance.

Broadway in Chicago THE ILLUSIONISTS
Andrew Basso as The Escapologist Photo: Courtesy of Broadway in Chicago

The combination of a theatrical spectacle and shock and suspense is what will pull you into this show. Though you’ll definitely find a lot of audience participation, it’s worth it to see these guys in action.



Note:  An excerpt of this review appears in Theatre in Chicago.


Limited engagement now through February 26th
Thursday at 7:30 PM
Friday at 7:30 PM
Saturday at 2 PM and 8 PM
Sunday at 2 PM and 7:30 PM


The Oriental Theater
24 W Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60601


Tickets are available at all Broadway In Chicago Box Offices, the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (800) 775-2000, all Ticketmaster retail locations and online at
Group tickets for 10 or more are available by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710


Courtesy of Broadway in Chicago

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