January 19, 2017

NYE 2017 at Beverly Wilshire Review

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On a magical, mystical evening, none other than New Year’s Eve, ringing in 2017, something of almost supernatural, magical, other worldly realm took place.  All were in awe at the Grand Trianon room at the Beverly Wilshire, as the esteemed illusionist Ivan Amodei graced the stage. With his one of a kind (sui generis) approach to all things illusion, Amodei never ceases to amaze.  His mesmerized audience watched each trick with bated breath, wondering the hidden secret that was never revealed.

Mystical feats galore, including an opening by a beautifully talented cellist to set the mood, Ivan, a wizard genius, had everyone standing in front of their seats, and in a process of elimination, Simon Says style, had the last woman standing (yours truly!), only to find, in astonishment, my name suddenly appearing on a chalkboard onstage!  He then went on to swallow nails of steel, miraculously regurgitating them painlessly. Sleight of hand; mind reading, all the while, accompanied with humorous playful banter with the audience was the tour de course.

Amodei shared his journey, as a young boy raised in Cosmo, Sicily…to his formative years in Brooklyn… to a spectacular career as a world class illusionist, the likes of Houdini.

This magician extraordinaire intrigued the audience, with quite a lot of audience participation, with flights of fancy, from guessing cards in a deck to destinations on a globe to revealing love notes in a clear balloon.

As New Years is upon us, it is time to ring in the new, embrace the uncanny, a time of adventure and mystery, a time of new beginnings, abracadabra. This show presents not only magic, but soothing music, and a theatrical flair, a la Cirque Du Soleil. At the magical, daunting stroke  of midnight, Amodei, using his innate gift of illusional sleight of hand, transported us to a make believe reality, just the treat we all need this year.

By Bonnie Priever

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.