After months of various closures, Toronto has reopened in time for a bit of Summer fun. One of various options for you to partake in is the World Premiere of Jamie Allan’s ILLUSIONARIUM.
A labyrinth of five rooms which transport you to different eras in time, ILLUSIONARIUM takes you on an immersive journey through the evolution of magic as the world’s most famous illusionists share their secrets.
Using 3D projections, life-like holograms and live magicians, ILLUSIONARIUM offers the chance to experience some of the grander-scale illusions in the world within a physically distanced setting. The first-of-its-kind installation occupies the third gallery space in the historic Toronto Star printing presses.
After these many months, I have been ready to get out and enjoy some live arts and cultural events around town. A couple of days ago, a friend in my social bubble and I made our way to the old Toronto Star building.
Upon arrival, we were given an envelope with a number written on it. This envelope will come into play later, so keep it handy. We were then taken in a decent-size group into the general area where guests can read about various magicians over time.
Our group was then greeted by a lovely host who became our guide through each of the rooms that are part of the ILLUSIONARIUM experience. First stop was Le Palais Royale, where a 3D volumetric hologram of Harry Houdini gave us a bit of a magic lesson. Second stop was The Egyptian Hall, where we learn about the five rules of magic. Third stop was the On-Air Studios space, where we finally opened the envelope we received at the entrance in order to take part in a card game/trick with Penn & Teller. The fourth stop was the Evo-lusion Theatre, which featured various illusions old and new.
There is a fifth room, but I have been sworn to secrecy and as such, I cannot discuss much about it. All I can share is that I turned to my friend and said, “I feel like I’m in a David Cronenberg film… and this next trick is going to be bad a–.”
The entire experience was well-organized with plenty of space for guests to feel safe and comfortable. My friend and I both appreciated that guests were taken through the experience in small groups. Every room also had something to keep everyone entertained, including the younger members of the group.
I must admit I was a bit rusty at first, in terms of being part of a live audience. It made me laugh at myself, but both my friend and I agreed that it was to be expected since we had been away from such experiences for months.
Overall, we each had a good time. I enjoyed being able to step away from everyday reality for a couple of hours, leave my logic at the door, and be reminded why magic – be it illusions, card tricks, etc. – was always so fun and entertaining.
For more details on ILLUSIONARIUM and for ticketing information, visit illusionarium.ca.