The Illusionists | Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

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When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 26 2017

Billed as a mind-blowing spectacular, this package tour of prestidigitators, stunt performers, and showmen continually undercuts itself with bombastic music, cheap-looking visuals, and herky-jerky pacing. Emcee Jeff Hobson does his hammy best to move things along, but because none of the acts have much to do with one another, the audience is never able to completely lose itself in the magic. The close-up tricks which are featured in about half the show lose all impact when presented in a 2,000-seat theater where those not in the first few rows must follow along on a less-than-high-def screen. Scottish thought reader Colin Cloud is the clear standout, engaging even those in the nosebleeds with his psychic skills. While all the performers are undoubtedly masters of their respective crafts, they may want to reconsider this kind of tag-team approach if they want their talents to truly shine. —Dmitry Samarov

Price: $13-$82

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