Last night I headed to the San Diego Civic Theatre to see The Illusionists live on stage. This mix of magic, daredevil acts, and illusion definitely isn’t your child’s birthday party magic show, although they did pull some children up onstage for one of the final acts!

The Illusionists have shattered box office records across the globe and dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of outrageous and astonishing acts.

At our show, the following performers took the stage:

The Trickster: David Williamson

Witty and sarcastic, Williamson was sort of the emcee of the evening. He engaged audiences with humor and magical effects for all ages. Williamson has appeared on a variety of shows, including America’s Got Talent.

The Mentalist: Chris Cox

Funny and a bit self-effacing, Cox wowed the entire audience with the knowledge he mentally extracted from audience members. At first, I was a bit cynical, but by the end, I was as shocked as everyone. I really want to learn this style of magic!

The Manipulator: Hyun Joon Kim

This was one of my favorite acts in terms of the presentation. Kim is regarded as one of the most masterful sleight of hand artists in the world and it was beautiful to watch!

The Daredevil: Jonathan Goodwin

Goodwin is a theatrical daredevil who put a huge scorpion in his mouth and invited an audience member to slap his cheek repeatedly while he worked his way out of handcuffs. Granted, the poor woman didn’t know he had the scorpion in his mouth as she was whisked offstage while he shoved it in there, but still. It was a bit daunting … and painful … to watch!

The Elusive: Valentin Azema

Valentin Azema, born in France with the accent to prove it, performed illusion-based magic where he continued to shift around the stage!

I personally wished some of the acts would have been taken to the next level, although I have to wonder if that’s where the actual deceptions occur.

For example, in one act, Cox opened envelopes that contained notes that had been written by audience members before the show started. The notes contained “actions” they wanted Cox to complete. While he accurately guessed the actions (via the audience member saying yes into the microphone), he never actually showed the envelopes so we could see the audience members’ names or the written actions within. With multiple cameras on stage, it would have been easy enough to do. B

ut still, when he started spouting off facts about each person, and you could see their expressions of disbelief grow, it was easy enough to forgive the desire to see the papers!

Want to see The Illusionists yourself? They’ll be traveling North America through mid-April. Buy tickets here!