A daredevil, a manipulator, a deductionist, an inventor and a trickster will have all the magical bases covered when THE ILLUSIONISTS come to the ENMAX Centrium on April 13.
Trickster Jeff Hobson said the Internet has muddied the waters when it comes to magic.
“When you look at videos you’re not sure if you’re watching a special effect or the real thing. So people, when they come to our show and see magic happening live right before their eyes with no screen in between, it’s a quite a jaw-dropping experience,” said Hobson, an original performer with the show.
“I think the more technology driven our world gets, the more the world needs a real life magician in front of them to make them realize that everything is not pixelated and a special effect.”
THE ILLUSIONISTS made its debut six years ago at the Sidney Opera House, and has wowed Broadway audiences for three seasons.
Hobson said magic shows aren’t a regular occurrence on Broadway. Doug Henning played Broadway in the 70s, David Copperfield in the 80s and 90s, and Pen & Teller did a few shows over the years.
“We’re pretty much sold out quite a bit because it’s such an usual thing to see.”
He said people will write off magic after a cheesy birthday party performance, but they change their tune once they see professionals on stage.
“There is a camaraderie among the audience when everyone ahs, or is star struck, or more or less just dumbfounded at once, or they laugh. It’s a beautiful thing that live theatre gives that nothing else gives in the world.”
And the performers also get a kick out of how each family-friendly performance unfolds. Hobson asks children from the audience to volunteer.
“The best part is not knowing. Our show has a lot of audience participation, especially me. So the fun part is that every night you never know exactly what’s going to happen.
As the trickster, Hobson said he provides the necessary levity.
“I balance out the danger, suspense and wonderment of the show with a few jokes, a few laughs, and I keep things moving. So I’m sort of a necessary element in the show.”
THE ILLUSIONISTS will be on stage at 8 p.m. at ENMAX Centrium. Tickets are $57.80 to $130.10 at ticketsalberta.com.