OWTK THEATER REVIEWS

The Illusionists Turn Of The Century on Broadway

The truth is, you just don’t know. These are modern audiences, digital natives growing up in a 4K ultra high definition world of clicks, swipes and immediate immediacy. Will children comfortably sink into the weathered red velvet of Broadway theater seats and allow themselves to be transported back to the turn of the century?

Turn of the century. That’s a funny phrase to a kid born in 2002, 2004, 2007 or anywhere thereabouts. The phrase has a very different meaning in the mind of a 12 year old than to someone with a 1 and a 9 in their birth year.

The brand new Broadway show from The Illustionists is now open at the Palace Theater in Times Square, at 47th and 7th, and it challenges audiences of all ages to trade the right now for the so very long ago, to the turn of the last century, during a tantalizing 90 minutes of magic, comedy, daredevil acts and mind-bending clairvoyance.

The Illusionists Turn Of The Century on Broadway

Does it work for young people, this new Turn Of The Century act by The Illusionists, young people who are only ever a YouTube video streamed on their phone away from finding out how anything is made, how trickery works, how the birds never fail to emerge from beneath the magician’s red silk? Oh my, yes it very much does work.

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My middle brother and I took three of our five children up to the Big Apple a couple of weeks ago to take in an 11am performance of The Illusionists Turn Of The Century and I’d occasionally look to my left and see, in a straight line, six silver dollar pancake eyes radiating happily confused wonder, three mouths agasp breathlessly saying in unison, “but how?!” and I knew, right then and there, that good magic and theatrical slight of hand is timeless, that no matter the virtual reality world of today, a well done trick will never fail to dazzle the hearts and heads of young people.

On the way out, my nephews, ages 12 and 14, clamored for The Illusionists Magic Kit. Despite the hefty $30 price tag, my brother ponied up for a pair and for the entirety of the 90 minute journey back to their New Jersey home, and then also out to dinner, his boys and my oldest daughter tried to out trick each other, invented stage names for themselves, and surfed YouTube on their phones for tips on performing magic, all the while continuing to discuss their favorite acts, marvel at, and debate about the secrets of, The Illusionists Turn Of The Century.

The Illusionists Turn Of The Century on Broadway

I’m not one for tends but I’m fond of this one: it’s becoming more and more popular to give children the gift of experiences over the gift of more and more stuff. Consider The Illusionists Turn Of The Century as an experience unlike any other, one that will stay with your young people, and you too, long after the mind-bending grand finale.

The Illusionists Turn Of The Century on Broadway grand finale

The Illusionists Turn Of The Century is on stage at the Palace Theater through January 1st 2017. Get tickets here.

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*OWTK was provided with tickets and a pre-show meet & great with the cast members. All opinions express above are honest and unbiased, the kids really were transfixed, my brother really did buy two magic kits, and all three of them are plotting a Christmas Day magic show for the rest of the family.

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