Examiner.com | July 2013
Part comedian, part miracle-worker, Justin Willman fantastically blends the worlds of social media, pop culture, humor and magic into one unbelievable bundle. You won’t find any hats or animals in this magic show; Willman’s Tricked Out, now touring across the country, puts a modern twist on classic favorites like big box tricks and disappearing acts, with a few originals thrown into the mix.
If you’re attending Willman’s show expecting a night of magic reminiscent of smoky dark rooms in Las Vegas, you’re in for quite the surprise. Willman’s fresh and invigorating approach to his art form excites his audience, while his quick wit and clever sense of humor induce more laughter than the biggest comedy acts on Sunset Blvd. Utilizing unconventional tools like his Iphone’s Siri app, soda cans, and colorful markers, the show is as hilarious as it is spectacular.
While the props and tricks are outstandingly placed and executed, the audience participation can be hit or miss. Some of the picks are outgoing, adding to the entertainment, while others were uncomfortable in the spotlight, thus creating a bit of awkward tension. Regardless of the situation, Willman had no problem recovering and livening up the mood.
The astounding tricks performed by Willman will make you repeatedly ask your neighbor, “How did he do that? What’s his secret?” Most of the time, the tricks seem impossible, especially the ones where audience participation leads to an outcome that seems to have been predicted by the magician hours before the show. Once audience member even admitted, “At times, I was stunned into silence. I couldn’t even clap.”
Rather than straining your brain trying to figure out the tricks of the trade, just sit back, enjoy the show and feel like a kid again, just like Willman intended. The show is the kick-off event for three weeks of Cirque-A-Palooza at the Pasadena Playhouse. Following Willman’s performances, the playhouse will host an evening with Groucho, a two-week street fair with Cirque de Soleil acts, and other bizarre talent. Whether it’s by the circus acts or the magical feats of Justin Willman, your mind will be blown and you’ll never look at life, or magic, the same way again.