On the heels of a highly successful multi-city tour and run on Broadway, the world’s best-selling touring magic show, The Illusionists – Live From Broadway (theillusionistslive.com), will play the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale June 19 – 24 as part of its North American tour.
The Illusionists – Live From Broadway is produced by Simon Painter, Tim Lawson and MagicSpace Entertainment. Conceived by Simon Painter, the show’s creative team also includes executive producer Tim Lawson, director Neil Dorward and creative director Jim Millan.
Full of hilarious magic tricks, death-defying stunts and acts of breathtaking wonder, The Illusionists has shattered box office records worldwide and thrilled audiences of all ages with a mind-blowing spectacular showcasing the jaw-dropping talents of five of the most incredible illusionists on earth.
Creative producer Simon Painter said, “We can’t wait to bring this electrifying show to Fort Lauderdale for a truly entertaining experience for the whole family. The Illusionists is the most non-stop and powerful mix of outrageous and astonishing acts ever to be seen on the live stage.”
The five stars, each a master in their own field, are:
The Trickster, Jeff Hobson is the epitome of glamour and showmanship. Don’t be fooled by his innocent appearance; Jeff has audiences laughing long after the curtain goes down.
The Inventor, Kevin James is known for innovative illusions, is an inventor, comedian and collector of the strange and unusual. Kevin is one of the most prolific inventors of magic in the world and has created some of the most celebrated illusions of the last century.
The Deductionist, Colin Cloud is one of the greatest thought readers of all time. He is a psychic savant known as a real-life Sherlock Holmes. Don’t play against him in a game of poker – he’s never lost.
The Manipulator, An Ha Lim the first place winner at Korea’s Busan International Magic Competition (2006), Italy Club Convention Manipulation (2006) and World Magic Seminar in Asia (2007). An Ha Lim was also a Golden Lion Award winner at the World Magic Seminar in Las Vegas (2008).
The Daredevil, Jonathan Goodwin is widely considered one of the most creative, skilled, and frankly crazy stunt performers in the world. He is an accomplished knife thrower, archer, escape artist, fakir, martial artist, free diver, and free climber. Unlike the other performers in the show, Jonathan is not a magician or illusionist but he will leave the audience breathless with his death-defying stunts.
It was a pleasure to sit down with the Trickster, Jeff Hobson, for this exclusive Hotspots interview.
How old were you when you saw your first magic trick and when did you get the bug to become a magician?
I was 7 years old when I saw a magician at my school. At that moment, I knew I wanted to be a magician for the rest of my life. At that moment, I told all of my classmate that I was going to be a magician.
What was your first paid gig as a magician?
I was 12 years old when I got a phone call at my home. It was a man who saw me perform magic. He said he wanted to hire me for his daughter’s birthday. He asked me, “What do you charge?” Since I never charged for a performance before, I told him it wasn’t necessary. He replied that he would pay me nonetheless. After the show, he gave me $5. I was thrilled. Now, I make a little more than that.
When did you know that Magic would be your career?
That show at my school engulfed all of my energies into practicing magic. I never looked back. I never thought about anything else. I knew then that I would be a professional magician as my career. When I was 16 years old, I was making more money than my father was at his job as a skilled tradesman. That was the mental slam-dunk that this was the job of a lifetime for me. But I really don’t think of it as a job. I am truly living out my childhood dream. Thank you America.
Who is your mentor in the magic world and why?
His name was Karrell Fox. He was arguably Michigan’s most famous magician. I looked up to him and copied his business techniques of keeping shows simple and to “pack small but play big”. He also had many different characters that he could play depending upon the type of show that was offered. He had a character for children’s shows, one for hypnosis shows, another for mentalism magic and one for his corporate show appearances.
What is your favorite trick and why?
The rarely seen Floating Lightbulb as performed by the late Harry Blackstone Jr. There was nothing more magical than that.
What should the South Florida audience expect from The Illusionist Live from Broadway?
I like to think about it as the ultimate, variety show of magic. There’s a number of different types of magic in our show. Dramatic sensational magic, poignant beautiful magic, jaw-dropping amazing magic and funny magic. All performed by magicians from around the world. It’s a show for ages 5 to 105. If you’re 106, you may be out-of-luck. This will be the best magic show you’ve ever seen.
Tickets for The Illusionists are available at the Broward Center AutoNation Box Office, 201 SW Fifth Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33312, Browardcenter.org or by calling 954.462.0222. Ticket prices start at $35.25.