It is one of the industry news sources, along with The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, relied upon by those in power and those hoping to one day attain power.
The Wrap emails come as entertainment news breaks: a dependable Hollywood star loses funding on his next big movie, a venerable talent agency picks up a new five-star client, a disgruntled writer sues a studio for allegedly ripping off a script idea. If Congress decided to declare war on Canada, it would not likely be in The Wrap, Hollywood Reporter or Variety unless it affected production on some film project in Toronto.
The big three also publish reviews of plays, movies, live shows and artistic endeavors. The Hollywood reviewers are usually very knowledgeable and pragmatic in their evaluation of the shows. They can also be brutal.
We were relieved, then, to read the glowing reviews of The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible in The Wrap.
The producers of that ill-fated “Houdini” musical starring Hugh Jackman can let out a collective sigh of relief that their star decided not to do the show. “The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible” opened Thursday at the Marquis Theatre and there’s no way a tuner based on the life of the world’s most famous illusionist could possibly be any more fun and awe-inspiring than this new magic show on Broadway.
The review describes the performers in glowing terms and with the enthusiasm normally found in a devotee rather than a jaded critic.
“Anyone who’s ever seen newsreels of Houdini performing this feat, or others like it, has wanted to go back in time to experience first-hand the cheesy excitement of seeing a brilliant stunt performer at work risking his life. Here’s your chance.”
The reviewer describes Inside Magic Favorite Dan Sperry’s performance as the most frightening.
The scariest moment in the show, however, involved a woman from out of town who really, really didn’t want to play a game of Russian roulette with the very Goth and genuinely weird Dan Sperry (The Anti-Conjuror). By the way, what is an anti-conjuror? Whatever, in addition to creeping people out, Sperry conjures up a whole menagerie of flying birds from his Count Dracula get-up. Truly amazing.
The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible runs through January 4 on Broadway before embarking on a multi-city tour of the United States.
Read The Wrap’s review here.