IF YOU GO
What: The Illusionists Presents Adam Trent.
When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17.
Where: Santander Performing Arts Center, 136 N. Sixth St., Reading.
Info.: www.santander-arena.com, (610) 898-SHOW.
Adam Trent, one of the breakout stars of Broadway’s “The Illusionists,” will soon bring his signature brand of magic and illusion to Reading’s Santander Performing Arts Center.
The big stage calls for a full-production, immersive show, which comes courtesy of the same creative team behind the worldwide touring sensation, “The Illusionists.”
When asked in a phone interview how he became the “futurist” cast member of “The Illusionists” in 2014 and 2015, he summed it up with: “Magic’s a small world and magicians know each other.” What was originally supposed to be a one-night-only performance at the Sydney Opera House was so successful that 15,000-seat venues in other countries also wanted the show.
After going solo, Trent reconnected with the producers of “The Illusionists” and said to them: “Let’s build a spectacular, amazing show,” with magic, music and comedy.
New tricks in the “The Illusionists Presents Adam Trent” show feature Trent teleporting across the stage, and cloning himself and dancing with his clones. “The magic is quite different in that it’s very technical,” said Trent, who’s done things with an iPhone that have astounded “Today”’s Matt Lauer and Ellen DeGeneres on their respective TV shows.
Among the skills in Trent’s entertainer toolbox are singing and dancing. It became a part of his act early on, from his days of performing at schools. At that time, he had a seven-minute magic act, but needed to fill a 58-minute assembly period. “Everybody started screaming and cheering like it was a concert,” he recalled.
Trent grew up on a diet of Michael Jackson videos, and his first concert was N-Sync, which featured the members of the boy band flying over the audience. “I’d go to the shows and look at the production. What if they did magic with this?,” said Trent, who is the youngest magician to win back-to-back medals at the Pro Magic Challenge.
Contemporary magicians like Trent make fourth-wall-breaking audience engagement a top priority. “There’s a 100-percent chance you’re gonna get involved,” he said of an audience-wide paper tearing trick in his new show.
Trent also gets interactive on a series he has on Red Bull TV called “The Road Trick,” where he hits the road to use magic as an icebreaker to connect with people on a personal level.
He credits magic’s resurgence to TV shows like “America’s Got Talent” and the “Now You See Me” movies. “There’s a whole new generation of magicians presenting magic differently and doing a nice job of it,” Trent added.