Preview: <em>The Illusionists – Live from Broadway</em> Spellbinds Seattle Audiences

Prepare to be astounded. The Illusionists – Live from Broadway is taking the 5th. The 5th Avenue Theatre, with their touring magic show, March 15-18th.

A Vegas-style touring review full of hilarious magic tricks, death-defying stunts and acts of breathtaking wonder, The Illusionists has shattered box office records worldwide and thrilled audiences of all ages. It promises mind-blowing, jaw-dropping tricks and magic, thanks to five flamboyant magicians who all specialize in specific branches of magic–from stage illusions and mind-reading to escapology and comedic magic. As one clever critic put it, “Think of Liberace in Las Vegas, minus piano, fur and rhinestones.”

The Illusionists all have catchy nicknames suitable for comic-book characters. The Trickster, Jeff Hobson, is the epitome of glamour and showmanship. His simple routine involving an egg disappearing and reappearing in a paper bag becomes a high point thanks to his ability to wring endless comic material from his hapless foil. Don’t be fooled by his innocent appearance; Jeff keeps audiences laughing long after the curtain goes down.

Jonathan Goodwin "The Daredevil" of The Illusionists on

Jonathan Goodwin “The Daredevil” of The Illusionists

The Inventor, Kevin James, is known for innovative illusions, is an inventor, comedian and collector of the strange and unusual. Kevin is one of the most prolific inventors of magic in the world and has created some of the most celebrated illusions of the last century.

The Deductionist, Colin Cloud, one of the greatest thought readers of all time is a psychic savant known as a real-life Sherlock Holmes. Don’t play against him in a game of poker – he’s never lost.

The Manipulator, An Ha Lim–first place winner at Korea’s Busan International Magic Competition (2006), Italy Club Convention Manipulation (2006) and World Magic Seminar in Asia (2007)–was also a Golden Lion Award winner at the World Magic Seminar in Las Vegas (2008).

Kevin James "The Inventor" of The Illusionists (photo by Joan Marcus) on equality365

Kevin James “The Inventor” of The Illusionists (photo by Joan Marcus)

The Daredevil, Jonathan Goodwin, aptly named “The Daredevil” for such stunts as escaping from a straitjacket after being hung upside-down and lit on fire. He’s widely considered one of the most creative, skilled, and frankly crazy stunt performers in the world. He is an accomplished knife thrower, archer, escape artist, fakir, martial artist, free diver, and free climber. Unlike the other performers in the show, Goodwin is not a magician or illusionist, but he will leave the audience breathless with his death-defying stunts.

Yu Ho-Jin, “The Manipulator,” delivers sleight-of-hand card tricks so gracefully and elegantly that they are practically poetic. Although he remains silent, he nonetheless manages to include a touching tribute to the people of Paris.

Scored to deafening rock music performed by a band dubbed “Z” and featuring sexy back-up dancers and plenty of dry ice for ambience, The Illusionists is inevitably more than a little hokey. No one seems to mind, especially the children who eagerly wait to be called onstage. They also can’t resist the concession-stand sale of The Ultimate Magic Kit, which promises to make plenty of theatergoers’ money disappear.*

*Warning: If you’re allergic to audience participation, avoid sitting down front in the orchestra section.

The Illusionists – Live From Broadway will play The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle from March 15 – 18 as part of its North American tour in 2018. Tickets range from $10-$100, available online at, over the phone at (206) 625-1900, or at the Box Office (1308 5th Avenue). Children must be four years old to be admitted.

The Illusionists
Jonathan Goodwin, Jeff Hobson, Yu Ho-Jin, Kevin James, and Colin Cloud

The Creative Team
Director-creative producer: Neil Dorward
Lighting designer: Jared A. Sayeg
Costume designer: Angela Aaron
Video designer: NICE Studios
Illusion designer: Don Wayne
Illusion director: Mark Kalin
Presented by Simon Painter, Tim Lawson, MagicSpace Entertainment, Road Show Theatrical

Keep Up With The Illusionists:

Website (here)
Facebook (here)
Twitter (here)
Instagram (here)
YouTube (here)

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Starla Smith

Starla Smith

Starla Smith is a career journalist, writing features for such publications as The New Yorker, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Daily News, The Des Moines Register, Vibe and a prize-winning Gannett Newspaper. She helped launch Theater Week Magazine and eventually became its publisher. As a regular contributor to Playbill, her interviews and photos were featured in Playbill and Playbill-on-line. Smith was featured in the New York Times "Style" section for her "Word Portraits," specialized tributes, speeches, and presentation profiles. And she covered theater and features for City Search, Digital City, and the Tena Duberry WOW! Radio show. She previously served as astrology guru for Out Magazine, and she hastens to assure her readers that "Starla" is indeed her real name.

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