The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible at the Straz

Take a dash of the comedy style of Penn and Teller.

Sprinkle in some glam and charm of Liberace.

Add a scoop of hold-your-breath Houdini intensity.

Pour in the sleight-of-hand and showmanship of David Copperfield.

Mix in the maddening mind freak of Criss Angel with a smidgen of Marilyn Manson.

Then, stir in equals part dancing, a live band and Las Vegas style finesse and mix until well combined.

For a finishing touch, ice it with some side show freakishness and you will produce one incredible show:

The Illusionists.


My oldest daughter and I attended the Wednesday evening performance, which was a family friendly performance and even pulled children from the audience to participate in the show as young assistants. However, audiences young and old will be amazed by the stunts.

The Illusionists represent seven completely unique styles of magic and illusion, but this is not your grandmother’s Doug Henning. Hell, it’s not even your mother’s Penn and Teller. By utilizing every inch of the stage, the most unusual acts unfold before your eyes and The Illusionists truly break the mold of every magic act you have ever witnessed before now.

The Illusionists

Each performer takes turns emceeing the show; it opens with…

The Futurist (Adam Trent)

and a glimpse of his magic manipulation.  He later returns with more fun sleight-of-hand tricks and an amazing optical illusion presentation involving a clear briefcase and an LED light show.

Adam Trent - The Illusionists

The Trickster (Jeff Hobson)

served up some silly puns and a playful way with some sparkle and good ol’ razzmatazz. I adored his charm and his sleight-of-hand style.

The Illusionists -

The Warrior (Aaron Crow)

astounded the audience with stunts involving weapons and a willingly (yes, willing) married couple as lovely assistants.

The Illusionists

The Inventor (Kevin James)

will remind audiences of a circus side-shows and elixir salesman. With his gentle, retro mad scientist style and steam-punk glasses, he transports us to an era of mystifying magic.

The Illusionsists

The Anti-Conjuror (Dan Sperry)

delivers the darker side to the acts of illusion. This tortured soul playfully lures the audience into his realm like a magical serial killer.

The Illusionists

The Manipulator (Yu Ho-Jin)

wowed the audience with the most graceful sleight of-hand magic ever seen.

The Illusionists


The Escapologist (Andrew Basso)

attempted his Houdini stunt, the entire audience held its breath while anxiously watching from the edge of their seats and the three minutes it took for him to free himself from his self-inflicted death trap felt like an eternity!

The Illusionists

From beginning to end and even during intermission, the show is an incredible, jaw-dropping must see!

Catch The Illusionists and witness the impossible now until Sunday at the Straz with nightly performances at 7:30 and matinees performances on Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm. Visit to purchase tickets.

Disclosure: I received two tickets to The Illusionists: Witness The Impossible through a Tampa Bay Bloggers and Straz Center partnership in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.  All photos borrowed from The Illusionists at