April 07, 2015

Huffington Post Review

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Illusionist Ivan Amodei brought his show Intimate Illusions to an intentionally intimate-sized meeting room at Seattle’s Westin Hotel last week, and the audiences of 200 were able to have a close look at being magically entertained. From my seat on the aisle in the second row during a Saturday evening show, I paid close attention to Amodei’s every move and found myself highly entertained as well as impressed by his skill.

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Amodei kept everyone in the intimate audience continually involved as he roamed the aisles bantering with people and getting them involved in every illusion. I was particularly impressed when he tore open an envelope that had been signed and sealed by an audience member to reveal her driver’s license that had been put in another sealed envelope in a box only minutes earlier.

Clearly Amodei is a master at sleight of hand, but he’s also quite entertaining, moving through the audience and involving nearly everyone in the room. And the accompanying of famed cellist Irina Chirkova takes the Intimate Illusions show beyond simple magic. Although she never speaks words, Chirkova dialogues with Amodei and the audience using her cello in a way that adds both humor and personality to the show.

I thoroughly enjoyed the fast-paced production and its genuinely intimate experience, and I have no doubt that Intimate Illusions will appeal to anyone looking for an entertaining look into possibilities.

Read on Huffington Post site.

February 18, 2015

Halfstack Magazine Chicago

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Should you ever coveted getting an invitation to the LA’s Magic Castle and don’t know an insider who can get you in the door, this is the next best thing. Direct from Beverly Hills, illusionist Ivan Amodei (pronounced E-von Ah-moe-day) has had a standing gig at the Beverly Wilshire for over five years. You may be lucky enough this season to catch his show at Chicago’s Ritz Carlton as Amodei travels back and forth from California to destination cities.

If you can catch his act on the road, you will be really entertained. Not like a David Copperfield or Criss Angel where you are sitting in the nose bleed seats across a stadium, Intimate Illusions is just that – intimate.

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The show at the Ritz is small, about 200 seats and is presented three times a day. The audience is up close and personal and literally able to see everything — even from the back row where I was.

There isn’t a bad seat and Ivan Amodei is gregarious. He is all over the room talking to everyone. This is a fun adventure into magic. Packed with fun, on-the-spot humor, the show is spontaneous and has lots of audience participation. It is thought provoking and captivating while at the same time very witty and impromptu.

Ivan Amodei works to give meaning behind the magic as he tells stories and engages with the audience. And as each audience is unique, each show will vary slightly.

A solo cellist plays sound effects and background music. Because of the impromptu nature of the show, the music works really well and meanders around with selections by Bach, Vivaldi as well as Henry Mancini and Philip Glass.

It is an unusual pairing that works well to set the mood. The overall mood lends the magical feeling of Venice at Carnival. Slightly romantic in feel, is it fun for a date but surprisingly appropriate for most people over age 10 or 12 who will love it too.

In fact, it is wonderful faire for them as the jokes are witty and message is up lifting. Amodei is a good showman and a wonderful entertainer. He makes a point of getting to know his audience and engages with them even after the show.

The shows sell out quickly so jump should you get the opportunity. Catch it before it disappears. Go to www.ivanamodei.com for more info, show times and tickets.

Read article on Half Stacks site.

May 06, 2014

Ent Scoop Interview

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“Intimate Illusions” takes the stage for the first time in New York City this May.  Illusionist Ivan Amodei brings his award winning show home to the Big Apple on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11 for six jaw-dropping shows.  Amodei grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. and is excited to perform at the Roosevelt Hotel.  “I love New York, I think it’s going to be an amazing experience,” said Amodei.

The Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, Calif. has been home to “Intimate Illusions” for the past four years and has been sold out for three years running.  Amodei is expecting an even bigger crowd in New York City. The shows are already filling up and the audience is expected to be between 250 and 350 people per show.

Amodei became fascinated by magic at the young age of five and has since won six “Peoples Choice Awards.” “I think the awards are really great, but the real pedal to the medal is when you go out and are working and people come to see you, that’s more of an award to me,” said Amodei.

He has performed for celebrities such as Steven Spielberg, Jim Carrey, Dick Clark, Nicholas Cage, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore.  “They’re regular people. They don’t act any differently.  I’ve done magic for Ashton Kutcher a few times—he loves magic.  Ashton Kutcher asked me to hangout and drink coffee after. When he was with Demi, she would take my coat upstairs and would ask what she could get me,” said Amodei.

Ivan Amodei is bringing a new illusion to the stage in N.Y. For the past six months, he has been perfecting this surprise illusion.  “This will be a great mother’s day illusion to bring to New York,” he said.  No two “Intimate Illusions” shows are alike. Amodei has four hours of material that he alternates between each 90-minute performance.  Differing from other magic shows, “Intimate Illusions” uses audience participation as a main part of the show.  “A percentage of the success of the show is that people are not just sitting and watching, but they are actually participating and they are actually changing the direction of the show,” said Amodei.

“Intimate Illusions” has moments that make the audience laugh, cry and think.  Amodei says it’s sometimes like a sit-com because the audience says things that cause hilarious things to happen to the members on stage. In N.Y., Amodei plans to perform “Up in the Air,” an illusion that fills the stage with hundreds of helium balloons with paper messages inside.  The selected audience member will have their choice of any balloon.  The balloon will be popped to reveal the message inside and the audience will be shocked.  “Somebody in the audience is going to find a miracle when they decide which balloon they select,” said Amodei.

Another act that will be performed Mother’s Day weekend is “The Miracle Worker.”  In this act, Amodei will turn water into wine.  Other acts include “Mona Lisa’s Secret” and “Einstein’s E=MC2.” Amodei’s illusion shows differ from other magic shows by having more meaning than regular magic tricks.  “I think magic and illusion have one distinct difference; a magic trick is simply a trick, it’s a stunt,” said Amodei. “An illusion has a meaningful storyline that makes you understand why I’m about to do what I’m about to do and it has some sort of a meaningful ending.”

At an illusion show, audience members will receive an overall uplifting message.  “Mostly, you’ll walk away with an inspirational message because my show is about what I’ve learned in life,” said Amodei. He performs destiny illusions and time illusions to help others understand what he has learned.  His favorite trick to perform is an illusion around a glass barrel full of scrabble pieces.  Audience members reach in to see if they hold their own fate in their hands, and they find out they do.

By following his destiny, Amodei has found that he is able to love his life, he said, “I wake up in the morning thinking about it and I go to bed late because I don’t want to stop doing it—that is the most rewarding thing.”

Read article on Entertainment Scoop Website