If you love the charm of old school magic tricks, Vaudeville-inspired theatrics and a hint of historic Parisian flair, you would certainly would enjoy Carnival of Illusion. This unique two-person magic show travels around Arizona with their dog, Harriette Houdini, making audiences wonder, “how’d they do that?” They claim to be the longest running theater show in Arizona, touring high profile local venues such as Tempe Center for the Arts, The Arizona Biltmore Resort, Mesa Arts Center and Tucson’s Scottish Rite Grand Parlour.
Roland Sarlot, the male half of the magic duo, invited me to attend one of their shows and I happily obliged. I attended a show this past weekend at Tempe Center for the Arts on a date night with my husband and another couple. Rounding out the evening with dinner and drinks, it made for a really fun date night. Because seating was limited to a portion of the main theater stage, the audience had a more intimate experience and people were called up on stage to assist – and given chocolate goodies for being a good sport. We witnessed everything from the standard “slicing the lady in the box in two” to card tricks to a mystical veil dance. It was really fun.
Although it’s a “clean” show, to be clear, it’s not a show for little ones; they limit audiences to ages eight and over and encourage a more mature audience such as teens and adults. They boast no smoke, no mirrors, but “unique entertainment with a sweet nostalgic feel, a ‘vaudeville road show without the dust’.” Humor and irreverence is a big part of it and you’ll find yourself laughing and smiling along with the fun.
Although they’re coming up on the end of their touring season in the next few months they do offer a few shows into June, with an expanded schedule resuming in the fall. If you’re interested in purchasing tickets, visit https://www.carnivalofillusion.com/