It premiered at the fabled Sydney Opera House, it was a big hit on Broadway in 2014 and it’s been selling out performing arts halls around the country ever since. But if you’re seeking opera or theater, this may not be the show for you’re interested in
“The Illusionists,” which returned to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa for five shows this weekend, is a pure magic show. What sets it apart is its scale and scope.
The current cast of “The Illusionists” includes 10 spectacular magicians, all of whom have adopted nicknames for purposes of the show. They are: Jeff Hobson (The Trickster), Dan Sperry (The Anti-Conjuror), Yu Ho-Jin (The Manipulator), Kevin James (The Inventor), Andrew Basso (The Escapologist), Ben Blaque (The Weapon Master), James More (The Deceptionist), Colin Cloud (The Deductionist), Adam Trent (The Futurist) and Darcy Oake (The Grand Illusionist). Most of them were in the show when it came to the Straz Center last year.
As you may be able to tell from the nicknames, each magician has his own specialty, and the show includes everything from sleight-of-hand to spectacular and dangerous stunts. There are a few ensemble pieces, but mostly the magicians have different styles and do their own acts. Hobson ties the pieces together with some comic relief, and a live band and helps establish continuity between pieces.
Details: Sept. 23-25, Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa. 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 and 7:30 p.m Sunday. $35-$105 plus service charge. 813-229-7827, strazcenter.org.