by Linda Burlingame
“Edge of Illusion.” Some call it illusion — I call it magic! To me it’s so totally believable — it can’t just be illusion. There’s just no logical way to explain what you see on Reza’s stage. People disappear. Things disappear. Big things … like motorcycles and helicopters! And don’t you think things and people reappear just a little too quickly for it to be illusion? Really. Call it what you will, Reza gives a flawless performance, and you will be totally involved and amazed the entire show.
Before Reza (pronounced with a “long a,” like “razor”) takes the stage, Ziggy, “Artist of Oddities,” entertains us by sharing strange and unusual tidbits of information … like the history of fire eating!? You won’t wonder, “How,” you’ll wonder, “Why?!” And there are impressive videos of Reza’s guest appearances on shows like Duck Dynasty, Penn & Teller (That’s really impressive!), PBS, and Sherlock — yes, the hit CBS television show!
You may have seen other magicians saw their lovely female assistants in half with a buzz saw. But Reza? He saws himself in half! It’s a seamless performance. J And audience participation is outstanding as well. Whether it’s reproducing an audience member’s “painting” or a card trick involving members of the audience, Reza is clever and accomplished. (How does he do that?!) The audience loves him.
When Reza was six years old, he visited Branson from South Dakota, with his parents. He saw a magic show, and the rest, as they say, is history. Reza knew he wanted to be a magician, and he knew he wanted to be in Branson. Reza doesn’t give away any secrets, but he does give us a hint of how he achieves some of his magic when he talks about the Mandela effect — what we think we’re seeing or hearing, as opposed to what’s really going on. Mr. Rogers’ song and Snow White’s “Mirror, mirror on the wall…” are examples he gives. You’ll be surprised!
Reza will tell you his first trick was with the three magic rings. That astounds me. Just like the Oreo, the buzz saws … big objects or small, sleight of hand or a full production number. Speaking of first tricks, Reza conducted a contest for aspiring young magicians. Caleb Alexander was the winner, and Caleb’s video that Reza shares show us why. I was especially amazed with his bowling ball “illusion!”
Besides enjoying great shows here in Branson, one of the pleasures of my job is watching audience reaction. Maybe I know what’s coming, maybe I’ve heard the joke or song before. But I love looking at the faces around me, seeing them respond. And of course, if something is done well, you enjoy it every time. Sometimes I get so involved in what’s happening on stage and around me, that I find myself forgetting to take notes!
It’s safe to say Reza ~ Edge of Illusion should be listed under “must see” on your Branson itinerary. His skill, staging, and presentation are remarkable. I think you just might call it magic, too. At Branson’s Famous Theatre. Enjoy!