‘Magic is back,’ says the director. ‘And I think we were a big part of bringing it back and making it cool again.’
The Illusionists – Live From Broadway is a sophisticated variety show that gives seven of the greatest magicians in the world 10 minutes each to blow your mind. And then, on to the next. “Most of our audiences love all five of them,” says Director Neil Dorward. But should you not care for one, just blink and another will appear before your very eyes. The ensemble includes an escape artist, a mentalist, a daredevil and a deductionist.
The Illusionists was (and remains) a simple performance concept that Dorward and Creative Producer Simon Painter modestly launched in 2012 as a two-week run at the Sydney Opera House. It has since grown into a worldwide phenomenon that has played on Broadway and now has three current touring productions traveling the world, with stops including Canada and Russia.
There is just something we humans universally love about being fooled, Painter said. “That goes back to childhood,” he said, “that lovely age of innocence.”
“It is highly entertaining. It’s lots of fun, lots of laughter and lots astonishing ‘wows.’ You will be definitely fooled.” — Simon Painter, Creative Producer
But why do we so love to be fooled? That’s a bit like saying, “Why does a kid like Christmas?” Painter said. Both require a certain suspension of disbelief – and a healthy belief in magic.
“Our show is not really about figuring out, ‘Is it real or not real?’” he said. “It’s magic as an entertainment piece, as opposed to magic to move the Statue of Liberty from one place to another. There are things that people do in our show that are unbelievably remarkable. You won’t believe what you are seeing on stage.”
You might not realize this, Dorward said, but magic – much like the circus – started to go out of fashion in the 1980s and ’90s. “But magic is back,” Dorward said, “and I think we were a big part of bringing it back and making it cool again.”
They achieved that that, he said, by not taking magic too seriously.
“This show has got lots of humor,” Dorward said. “We have some hysterically funny magicians, and some beautiful magicians.”
“I would just bring your whole family out to the show,” Painter said. “It is highly entertaining. It’s lots of fun, lots of laughter and lots astonishing ‘wows.’ You will be definitely fooled. So come along.”
John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S. by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.
The Illusionists – Live from Broadway: Ticket information
The story: This mind blowing spectacular showcases the jaw dropping talents of seven of the most incredible Illusionists on earth. This non-stop show is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions.
• April 12-14
• The Ellie Caulkins Opera House
• Tickets start at $30: 303-893-4100 or Tickets: 303-893-4100 or
• Groups: Call 303-446-4829