By Micha Green, D.C. Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
“The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays,” at the National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., emphasizes the notion that this time of year is a “season of giving.” When audiences witness “The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays,” they are offered an empowering gift- the power to believe.
At the beginning of the show, an important question is posed, “What is magic?” Steve Valentine, “The Showman,” explains magic is witnessing “the unbelievable.” Thus, audiences are told to shout, “I believe.”
That belief transports audiences from divisive politics, stress factors and the bitter cold outside, to the unity ignited by wonder and awe, the relief of enjoying entertainment and the warmth of holiday cheer.
A group of “illusionists” with an array of talents, utilize “close-up magic, mentalism, daring escapes and technical spectacle,” to wow audiences from beginning to end. In addition to “The Showman,” Valentine, “The Illusionists” include: “The Elusive,” Valentin Azema; “The Trickster,” Darren “Dizzy” Partridge; “The Transformationalists,” Sos and Victoria; “The Daredevil,” Jonathan Goodwin; “The Manipulator,” Florian Sainvet; and “The Delusionist,” Stuart Macleod.
“The Illusionists,” are extremely entertaining and can suck the biggest skeptic into believing in magic, as each trick is successfully executed and leaves audiences audibly shouting, “What?” and “How did they do that?”
One of the keys to this enjoyable show is its interactive nature. From the very beginning of the show audiences are pulled into the action, becoming part of the production.
“We can only be as good as our audience,” Valentine told the audience, “and tonight we are going to be outstanding.”
Not only did general audience participation, such as clapping, shouting and believing in the magic, play a major role in “The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays,” but also there were many amazing moments in which people were taken from the seats and embedded into the action.
A show marketed for the whole family, “The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays,” was intentional about involving young audience members into the performance, which reminds all who sees the action that there is an inner child that lives in the hearts of everyone.
In order to not spoil the holiday magic, this reporter will not share any of the tricks, but will say that the entire production will leave audiences scratching their heads and wondering how these “illusionists,” were able to execute each moment.
In a little over two hours, with a 15 minute intermission, “The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays,” is funny, entertaining and exciting from the beginning to the final bow. There is limited time to join the magic at the National Theatre, as the show opened on Dec. 3 and closes on Sunday, Dec. 8. For information on tickets visit www.TheNationalDC.com.