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article imageReview: 'The Illusionists' perform at Tilles Center in New York

By Markos Papadatos     Jun 2, 2017 in Entertainment
Greenvale - On June 1, "The Illusionists" performed live at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at LIU Post, for a great turnout of 1,555 attendees.
It consisted of seven talented magicians, where their set opened with "The Inventor" Kevin James sawing somebody in half with a chainsaw, and then putting them back together as one. "Welcome. Tonight you will witness the impossible," Jeff Hobson said, who is known as "The Trickster."
Hobson proceeded towards the back of the venue, where he took a volunteer on stage for his comedy magic act. "These cheap seats are now priceless," he said.
The Anti-Conjuror Dan Sperry proceeded with his class Life Saver mint trick, which he got out of his neck with the help of dental floss, which was grotesque for many viewers.
An Ha Lim from South Korea, filled in for master manipulator Yu Ho-Jin, who was able to impress with his extraordinary card manipulation act, but it slightly lacked the passion, creativity and poetic nature of Ho-Jin's enthralling version.
"Greetings Greenvale. Are you well," asked mentalist Colin Cloud, who emerged as a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, where he involved the audience in some neat mind-reading activities.
One of the neatest demonstrations was when Kevin James went into the audience and collaborated with a five-year-old fan Jacqueline, and they were able to create some magic with a piece of tissue paper, which magically turned into a rose by the end of his close-up magic routine.
From the first act, the highlight performer was espacologist Andrew Basso. "Greenvale, buonasera," he said, prior to nothing that he had told his grandfather that he had wanted to be Harry Houdini at the age of eight. He went on to pay homage to Houdini by performing the very dangerous water torture cell, which he was able to successfully compete after two minutes and 41 seconds. This bravura performance garnered Basso a standing ovation from the Tilles Center audience.
After a 20 minute intermission, the "Illusionists" kicked off their second act with Sperry performing more grotesque magic. He invited a female audience member of stage, and they performed a coin trick together, which would inevitably wind up in his eye, and it would come out of his arm, after a small incision. This petrified most viewers, but then he recaptured their love with his bird act later in the show, which was quite spectacular. Basso returned in this act to perform his famous rope-tying trick, which he was able to escape from instantaneously.
The highlight performer of the second act was the introduction of Weapon Master Ben Blaque to the New York audience. The crossbow expert was able to do some fun demonstrations by shooting arrows at balloons (one at a time, and for three in a row), a flower, a newspaper (held sideways), as well as a bulls-eye target, with the hardest being the newspaper sideways, which he was able to successfully rip in half with his piercing arrow. If that weren't enough, his selfie crossbow act (which involved his cell phone camera) left even the biggest skeptic in goosebumps.
The Verdict
Overall, The Illusionists were able to deliver at Tilles Center in Brookville, and there was something in it for everybody. This show was ideal for the whole family. The only downside is that anybody who has seen them live on the Broadway stage in New York in previous years would be disappointed, since it was the exact same tricks, by the same magicians (Jeff Hobson, Dan Sperry and Kevin James), and there were a few minor flaws here and there (which could have been spotted by anybody who has seen ensemble magic shows on numerous occasions). Andrew Basso and Ben Blaque stole the show, and left the audience in total awe of their talent and uniqueness. Colin Cloud was also remarkable,
and reminiscent of a young Derren Brown. The Illusionists production at Tilles Center garnered four out of five stars.
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