Out and About: The Illusionists Thrill on Opening Night at Dr Phillips Center

The Illusionists Thrill on Opening Night at Dr Phillips Center

Last night, The Illusionists – Live From Broadway kicked off the 2016-2017 Broadway in Orlando season at the Dr. Phillips Center, and CitySurfing Orlando was invited to check this enjoyable show.

The Illusionists - Jeff Hobson

With his sparkly suits and outlandish wit, comedic magician Jeff Hobson is the ringmaster of sorts for the show. Interacting with the audience, he put everybody at ease while amusing them with his sassy personality and various magic tricks.

The Illusionists - Kevin James

Also present throughout the evening, magician Kevin James wowed the crowd with his large-scale illusions involving things like sawing a person in half… with both halves completely visible. Interestingly, James is actually related to the legendary P.T. Barnum. Must be where he gets his showmanship from.

Deductionist Colin Cloud uses the magic of observation and misdirection to somehow know what you’re thinking. In fact, he performed a trick of deduction that not only encompassed the entire audience, but the printed Playbill for the show. That’s talent that would make Sherlock Holmes proud!

The Illusionists - Yu Ho-Jin

South Korea’s Yu Ho-Jin specializes in sleight-of-hand, and it’s a talent he’s honed well. I sometimes didn’t know if he was pausing for effect or for applause, but I enjoyed his manipulations.

Ben Blaque is a weapons master, and his choice of weapon was the crossbow. His magic consisted of dangerous acts of dexterity and straight aim. Watching his act, it’s easy to see why he appeared four times on America’s Got Talent. And that last trick shot was just amazing.

The Illusionists - Andrew Basso

Escape artist Andrew Basso is an Italian master of getting out of dangerous physical situations. Tonight, he was submerged upside down in a tank of water, handcuffed, and feet restrained, and forced to escape before he ran out of air in his lungs. This one had me the most nervous, so kudos to Basso.

The Illusionists - Dan Sperry

Rounding out the touring cast for the Orlando shows is shock magician Dan Sperry, who specializes in illusions that are macabre and even grotesque. Definitely not for everyone, but he was very talented.

Overall, The Illusionists is a show that truly offers something for every one. It’s suitable for most ages, though some of the humor is a little ribald. If you want to be amazed at what your eyes are seeing, definitely check out this show this week while it’s in Orlando.


The Illusionists is at the Dr Phillips Center for the Performing Arts through Sunday, October 9. Tickets start at $30.75, and are available at drphillipscenter.org, and the venue box office.

For more info on the show, visit theillusionistslive.com.

[Photos courtesy Dr Phillips Center; photographer Joan Marcus]

Disclaimer: I was provided tickets for purposes of review. As always, my opinions are honest, and my own.

About Michelle Snow

Michelle is the owner and editor of CitySurfing Orlando. She also owns Zengrrl.com, is a freelance writer specializing in travel and entertainment, and has authored/co-authored four guidebooks on Orlando and Florida. She lives in Orlando near Disney, and hears Magic Kingdom fireworks every night.
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