The first magic show I remember seeing as a kid in the 1970's was also the last magic show I saw on Broadway: Doug Henning's The Magic Show. Today, I saw The Illusionists on Broadway with my friend Bonnie A, and I really enjoyed it. The show features seven magicians, each with a different specialty. And in this version of the show (they seem to change the acts around depending on where the show is produced), there happily wasn't one "watch while my assistant crawls around inside this box" illusion, which I always find cheesy. Here instead, each of the performers demonstrated quite a bit of skill in their respective disciplines, the acts were well ordered and the show was paced well. I love figuring out magic tricks, and I figured out all of them except for one by Kevin James--a beautiful number performed in the audience for a little girl. But it's really fun to be fooled.
They made good use of video for the close up acts, and I liked the lighting. The sound mix seemed fine, but unfortunately, in the top of the mezzanine where I was sitting, the sound coverage was inadequate and there was very little high frequency coverage, so everything was too quiet and muffled, in the notoriously dry and acoustically dead Marriot Marquis theatre. They had a standard touring line array setup so in the orchestra it probably sounded fine, but for the very high price of tickets even in the mezzanine, the sound should have been better. I think the sound problems led to a feeling of disengagement for those up in the seats near me--you could hear the applause much more strongly from below than from those up top. No sound designer was credited, so I'm not sure what happened. And apparently the fill speaker you can see in my crappy Instagram photo was not working today:
In any case, the show tours through June, go see it!