Following a highly-acclaimed Broadway run, this troupe of performers in “the world’s best-selling magic show” brings its tour to Red Bank’s Count Basie

by Jon Domenick

he Illusionists – Live from Broadway showcases the talents of a group of professional sorcerers, soothsayers, card masters, and enchanters—demonstrating various forms of misdirection and other magic. With a nod to steampunk and turn-of-the-century style, and a wink to icons of magic and illusion like Harry Houdini, Penn and Teller, and David Copperfield, this troupe (“The Anti-Conjuror,” “The Inventor,” “The Weapon Master,” “The Deductionist,” “The Escapologist,” “The Manipulator,” and “The Daredevil”) has been handpicked from around the globe for its expertise and showmanship.

Kevin James, a.k.a. “The Inventor” is related to P.T. Barnum, and has performed in a variety of Las Vegas casinos, as well as in 89 countries, including before the Prince of Monaco, the Prince of Bahrain, and the Sultan of Dubai, as well as a command performance for President Obama at the White House. James is also one of the highest viewed magicians on YouTube, with millions of hits.

“Weapon Master” Ben Blaque, known for his crossbow skills, appeared on America’s Got Talent, earning praise from Howard Stern, while “Daredevil” Jonathan Goodwin has been theatrically hanged, buried alive, hung upside down from helicopters, burned at the stake, attacked by sharks, and sewn inside a dead cow. Goodwin is also an accomplished knife thrower, archer, escape artist, martial artist, free diver, and climber.

During the show, audiences witness acts of grand illusion, levitation, mindreading, disappearance, and a glassen closed water torture escape performed by “Escapologist” Andrew Basso.

The non-stop show is a nod to the Golden Age of Magic, is centered in a time when conjurers were the rock stars of their day. Audiences, apart from being simply amazed, will also learn the origins and secrets of some of the greatest and most dangerous illusions ever created.

The Illusionists national tour runs through June. Two additional New Jersey performances are scheduled at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 15 at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown.

Avora Spread

The Illusionists, at Count Basie Theatre
Thursday and Friday, April 13 and 14, 8:00 p.m.
99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank / 732.842.9000
thebasie.org