To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Illusionist Adam Trent just might ask to borrow an iPhone when his tour stops in Houston, but don't be surprised if he gives it a whack with a hammer, throws it in an industrial-strength blender (sporting a Microsoft logo, no less), adds water, and pushes the button for mass destruction.
Trent says the trick he performed on television's Ellen is a good example of the kind of show he's bringing to the Bayou City, with tons of audience interaction planned for The Illusionists Present The Magic of Adam Trent, brought to Houston audiences by the Society for the Performing Arts.
We first noticed Trent on America's Got Talent as one of the cast members in Broadway's best-selling magic show, The Illusionists, where he seemingly teleported across the stage in a whiz-bang-boom fusion of technology, illusion and fast-paced showmanship (he was The Futurist).
His first solo tour is being produced by the same team that brought us The Illusionists, and Trent says it's a completely brand new show, but we can expect a few of our favorites, too. "I clone myself on the stage. I do a live hologram. There are a lot of weird, kooky, futuristic elements of the show," says Trent, who even brings a robot to the table. He's also going to get cut in half, which is completely weird, as there's no obvious box for hiding the body.
The show is high-tech to the max, with video projections, music and all sorts of props. "I travel with a massive crew. It's the largest touring magic show; there are several dozen people who work from seven a.m. until the show opens." He says it takes a 53-foot truck to carry all the gear needed for the tour.
"I think it’s a matter of doing something that people haven’t seen before. People think they’ve seen it all," says Trent about the heavy emphasis on technology. "Certainly in the magicsphere I’m definitely known for doing high-end technology." But Trent is quick to point out that he likes to mix in more traditional illusions, like the iPhone trick he did on Ellen.
"It’s something that I think people who have seen a lot of the classic standard magic effects will enjoy. I wanted to give people a new look at an artichoke — whether it's their first magic show or their hundredth magic show," says Trent. "It’s a magic show for people who did not know they were fans of magic."
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Performances of The Illusionists Present The Magic of Adam Trent are at 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. February 10, Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, 713-227-4772, spahouston.org, $39 to $94.
Trent's show is for all ages ("from age three to 103"), but it's shaping up to be a magical weekend for the whole family, thanks to the Society for the Performing Arts. Montreal-based scratch DJ and music producer Kid Koala is taking the stage with a theatrical adaptation of his graphic novel and soundtrack, Nufonia Must Fall. Utilizing miniature stages and a cast of puppets, the audience members will think they're watching an animated film, but it's really a live show backed by the Afiara Quartet.
A performance of Nufonia Must Fall is set for 7:30 p.m. February 9, Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, 713-227-4772, spahouston.org, $34 to $64.