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Chris Cox’s Broadway Debut

By Kathy Henderson for Broadway Direct – https://broadwaydirect.com/chris-cox-preps-for-a-magical-broadway-debut-in-the-illusionists/ 

Chris Cox looks like your friendly next-door neighbor, with boyishly messy hair, oversized eyeglasses, and a wardrobe of colorful suspenders. But don’t underestimate this self-described “big geek”: Cox is one of the most celebrated magicians in the world, and a headliner in the forthcoming six-week Broadway engagement of The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays. Billed as “The Mentalist,” he will show off his astonishing mind-reading skills at the Neil Simon Theatre from November 29 to January 2, 2020.

Since its debut at Australia’s Sydney Opera House in 2012, The Illusionists has become an international hit, including record-breaking engagements on Broadway. The show, says Cox, “takes the heart of what makes magic exciting and creates something fresh and new and relevant. It’s all about that human connection and making impossible things seem possible.”

To be clear, Cox himself doesn’t claim to be clairvoyant. “I often say that I’m a mind reader who can’t read minds,” he says, speaking with Broadway Direct from London, where The Illusionists recently wrapped up a West End run. And yet Cox manages to amaze audience members by revealing detailed tidbits about their lives and personalities, from favorite foods and favorite bands to names and birthdays. His skill as a magician and impeccable comic timing have impressed celebrity fans including comedian Ricky Gervais, who calls the 35-year-old magician “brilliant; he’ll blow your mind.”

Cox began playing around with magic as a kid in Bristol, England, where he first took the stage at the Hippodrome at age 11 in the chorus of a musical. After studying psychology, he began using his powers of deduction as a magician, making his professional debut at 20 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. “The joy of magic is to create a world where you feel like a kid again,” he says. “My job is to make you laugh — and to question how the hell I know information about you that there is no way I should be able to know. I don’t work with big props and illusions; I work with people’s thoughts and emotions. There’s a gray area between something being a trick and being based in reality, but my goal is to make the show as entertaining as possible.”

The young star’s mischievous energy and embrace of silliness sets him apart from other mind-readers. “People often find mind-reading scary or a little bit sinister,” notes Cox, “but for me, it’s about creating excitement and fun, celebrating the human mind and what we can do with it. I never want an audience member to feel concerned about participating; I want them to have the most memorable experience possible. It’s always a pleasure to meet people after the show who loved taking part, and others who come up and say, ‘I wish you had picked me.’”

In addition to mind-reading, The Illusionists brings together the greatest practitioners of daredevil stunts, card manipulation, cutting-edge illusions, sleight-of-hand tricks, and teleportation. “I remember seeing the show as a young adult and thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be incredible to be part of this?’” Cox says. “It’s a phenomenal production, with huge screens, sets, and lighting. I sit at the side of the stage at most shows because it’s a so much fun to watch everyone else’s act. I find a place where I can see the audience’s faces light up with amazement.”

Cox has traveled the world with The Illusionists, including a three-month run in South Africa, three months in Reno, Nevada, and a sold-out run at Sydney Opera House. Meanwhile, he continues to appear solo on UK stages and in BBC specials and awards shows and assisted in creating magic and illusions for the West End production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. “I’m never happier than when I’m standing in a theater,” says Cox, who even got married on stage back home at the Bristol Hippodrome. Now he’s headed to Broadway for the holiday season with his wife, a psychologist who offers ideas for his act, their two-year-old daughter, and a newborn due in early November.

“As a child who grew up watching Home Alone 2, I can’t believe we’re going to be in New York over Christmas,” Cox says with typical enthusiasm. “I look forward to taking my daughter to see Santa and just enjoying being together as a family when I’m not working.” His Great White Way debut comes after years on the other side of the Broadway footlights. “My wife and I spent way too much money flying over to see Hamilton when it first opened,” he recalls with a laugh, “so playing Broadway is genuinely a dream come true.”

As his own family grows, Cox is especially happy to be part of a spectacular production that appeals to theatergoers of all ages. “I love the idea that there are kids out there who might be seeing their first Broadway show, and that we will be part of their holiday memories,” he says. “Some might even be inspired to end up on stage themselves.”

Chris Cox To Star On Broadway in ‘The Illusionists – Magic Of The Holidays’

The Illusionists – Magic Of The Holidays will return to Broadway for a fifth holiday season, producers announced today.

The show, which this year will present seven illusionists, will run at Broadway’s Neil Simon Theatre from Friday, November 29, 2019, through Sunday, January 5, 2020. Simon Painter, Tim Lawson, MagicSpace Entertainment, and The Works Entertainment produce. Neil Dorward directs.

This year’s line-up of illusionists includes: mentalist Chris Cox; “trickster” Paul Dabek; magician Kevin James (“The Inventor”); Hyun Joon Kim (“The Manipulator”); quick-change artists Sos   & Victoria; and France’s Got Talent stand-out Enzo Weyne. This year’s show also will include performances by Verba Shadow Theatre.

The Illusionists Direct From Broadway Return To London’s West End with Chris Cox

Chris is delighted to announce he will be starring in The Illusionists at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London’s West End. This will be his third West End season. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here

THE ILLUSIONISTSDIRECT FROM BROADWAY WILL PLAY A STRICTLY LIMITED SEASON AT THE SHAFTESBURY THEATRE FROM 6THJULY TO 1ST SEPTEMBER 2019.

The world’s biggest selling magic spectacular, The Illusionists – Direct From Broadway, will return to London’s West End this summer with a brand new show from Saturday 6th July to Sunday 1st September at the Shaftesbury Theatre. The all-star line-up will see audiences wowed by The Showman James More, The Unforgettable Enzo, The Manipulator Yu Ho-Jin, The Futurist Adam Trent, The Mentalist Chris Cox, The Trickster Paul Dabek and The Daredevil Jonathan Goodwin.

Last seen in the West End in 2015 and having just recently broken its fourth box office record on Broadway, The Illusionistsis a mind-blowing spectacular showcasing the jaw dropping talents of seven of the most incredible illusionists on earth. Collectively these performers have been seen by millions across the world and this production showcases their collective talents on stage together for the very first time. The Illusionistshas shattered box office records and dazzled audiences of all ages around the world with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever to be seen on stage.

This spectacular show is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions. Prepare to witness stunning acts of grand illusion, levitation, mindreading, and disappearance next summer!

The Showman, James More, is currently one of the world’s leading and most viral illusionists. He first made an impact after an incredible run on Britain’s Got Talentin 2013 and has the most watched audition from his series with over 80 million hits on YouTube. The British-born illusionist continued to make waves after a sell-out tour in Russia with his Theatre of Illusionshow and soon after was approached by The Illusionists. After performing with the show for over two years in five continents around the globe, More became the first British magician in history to appear on New York’s infamous Broadway.  His fast-growing reputation also includes a special guest appearance on NBC’s, America’s got Talent,a feature on, Got Talent World Stageand numerous other television appearances. His live work comprises of performances at London’s 02 Arena, The Hollywood Pantages in Los Angeles and the Sydney Opera House to name but a few.

The Unforgettable, Enzo, warns his audience to forget everything they know and prepare to live an unprecedented experience though which all their senses will be put to the test. Enzo held his first magic show at 11 years old, with humble resources. However, he wished to stage far more impressive illusions, and spent a year as an engineering student during which he was taught how to draw up plans and to understand mechanics and electrotechnics. It was his performance on France’s Got Talent, where he reached a new audience. A few years later, the audience of Le Plus Grand Cabaret du Mondewas, in turn, mesmerized. This new publicity opened him the doors to the most prestigious events in Europe, as well as some of the biggest international festivals. Enzo has since been considered a rising star of magic. In 2013, he returned to France’s Got Talent, where he wowed the jury and the audience again by making a helicopter appear on stage, an act that had never been seen before on television. In 2015 at just 26 years old, he premiered his show, Beyond Illusionsat the famous Casino de Paris.

The Manipulator, Yu Ho-Jin began his career in magic aged just 9 years old and it was only a decade later that he turned the magic community upside-down and won the first prize in Stage Magic and Grand Prix at FISM World Championship of Magic 2012. Today Yu Ho-Jin is considered to be the most elegant and artistic manipulator alive by the world’s leading magicians. It is no surprise that Ho-Jin is often referred to as “the future of magic”. When Yu Ho-Jin’s nimble fingers rend the empty air as if playing the piano, astonishing notes of mystery flutter in the atmosphere and captivate the hearts of his audience. There is no deception or trickery in his work.  Not only that, there is no doubt that Yu Ho-Jin has the ability of turning anyone into his fan – from children to the world’s finest magicians.  

The Futurist, Adam Trentinaugurated the first two record-breaking Broadway runs on the US tour of The Illusionists. His frequent TV appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Today Show, and countless others as well as an NBC primetime TV special and his own 10-episode TV series premiering May 2017 on Red Bull TV, further highlight his appeal to audiences of all ages.

The Mentalist, Chris Cox is the star of CBBC’s Chris Cox’s Mind Blowing Magic and BBC Three’s Killer Magic. he is the multi-award-winning mind reader who can’t read minds. Dubbed by The Guardian as “one of the most exciting entertainers in Britain”, Chris’ side-splitting, confident, silly, charismatic and mischievous sense of magic and wonder has been seen by over 500,000 people worldwide. He has performed two seasons in London’s West End and amazed audiences in venues such as Sydney Opera House, and The Grand West Arena Cape Town.  Chris has recently been seen on television screens with One Direction reading their minds at the BBC Music Awards. He’s also appeared with Heston Blumenthal in Heston’s Recipe For Romance, Now You See It, How Magic Changed TV and The Mentalist Revealed. Chris is the Magic & Illusions Assistant for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Parts One And Two in London.

The Trickster, Paul Dabekis one of the UK’s top entertainers, he has performed across 6 continents and headlined his own show in Las Vegas. As well as appearing on BBC TV. An accomplished magician, comedian and actor, Paul’s skills have won him critical acclaim, Time Out magazine named him ‘a superb showman!’ Both the Magic Circle and the International Brotherhood of Magicians have recognized Paul’s talent naming him Young Magician of the Year and awarding him the British Shield. Fast-paced, dynamic magic, quick-witted humor, and a theatrical flair combined with a personality that reaches to the very back of the theatre.  Join Paul as he reveals exactly what’s up his sleeve and delves into his box of tricks while cheekily enchanting the audience with jaw-dropping hilarity.

The Daredevil and Escape Artist,British-born Jonathan Goodwinis widely considered one of the most creative, skilled and frankly crazy stunt performers in the world. Goodwin has been hanged, buried alive, hung by his toes from helicopters, burned at the stake, attacked by sharks and even sewn up inside a dead cow. Jonathan has starred in numerous TV series including One Way Out for Discovery Channel and Dangerman: The Incredible Mr Goodwin for the BBC as well as Deathwish Live, How Not To Become Sharkbait and The Seven Stupidest Things to Escape From.

THE ILLUSIONISTS
Shaftesbury Theatre,
210 Shaftesbury Avenue
London WC2H 8DP

Performance dates: Saturday 6thJuly – Sunday 1stSeptember 2019

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday evenings at 7:00PM
Sunday evenings at 6:00PM
Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2:30PM
Sunday matinees at 2:00PM
From 27 July onwards, there will be additional early Saturday matinees at 11:00AM and Friday matinees at 2:30PM

The Illusionists Experience in Reno to be headlined by Cox

Great news North America. The Illusionists Experience, a brand new intimate version of the World’s Biggest Magic Show, The Illusionists will be opening on April 17th 2019 at the Eldorado Resort & Casino in Reno Nevada. Chris will be reprising his much loved role of The Mentalist in the show through to the end of June.

Maybe see you there?! 

 

The Illusionists Tour Australia With Chris Cox

After the huge success and rave reviews of his performance in The Illusionists Live From Broadway in South Africa and on it’s US Tour, Chris Cox is delighted to announce that he’ll be heading down under for December 2018 and January 2019 with The Illusionists – Direct From Broadway.

Chris will be bringing his unique, fun, hilarious and mind-blowing mind-reading to Sydney Opera House over Christmas 2018 after starting the tour in Canberra Theatre Centre. He’ll then be going on to QPAC in Brisbane before one final Australia Location.

This completely new, mind-blowing spectacular showcases the jaw-dropping talents of eight of the most incredible illusionists on earth. THE ILLUSIONISTS – DIRECT FROM BROADWAY has shattered box office records across the globe and dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever to be seen on stage. The non-stop show is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions.

Audiences will witness stunning acts of grand illusion, levitation, mindreading, and disappearance.

The group of world class performers takes their cue from the showmanship of the great illusionists of the past such as Harry Houdini and pair it with a new and updated contemporary aesthetic, who set and costumes design lend the genre theatricality and artistry that has rarely been seen before.

Collectively these performers have been seen by millions of people around the world and this production showcases their incredible talents together on stage.

You can find out more about Chris in The Illusionists here