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Magician from Broadway’s ‘The Illusionists’ to appear at Genesee

He’s known for putting cell phones into blenders while their owners have heart palpitations nearby.

Adam Trent — who did the iPhone-in-the-blender trick on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” show in 2016 — comes to the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan for a 7:30 p.m. show Oct. 25.

He’s a rising star in the magic world and is fresh from Broadway, where he appeared in the show “The Illusionists.” His stage show — of which he does about 100 a year — is parts magic, stand-up comedy and technical-spectacle.

Trent got his start with a magic book he got when he was 8 years old. Before long, he was performing at kids’ birthday parties.

“The birthday party gigs became bigger, one thing led to the next and here I am 25 years later still doing it,” he said.

He makes it sound so easy, right?

“It certainly was not easy,” he said. “Most careers, when you want to get to the top, you can at least see the path you want to go. If you want to be a lawyer, you go to a great law school, work for a great law firm and put in your time. Whereas entertainment, and magic specifically, is quite different.

“There are a thousand ways you can go and maybe all those paths lead nowhere. Thankfully, it’s something I love so I kept doing it. Eventually things worked out after putting in the time.”

He’s appeared on shows like “America’s Got Talent,” “The Today Show” and “Rachael Ray.”

“I do a mix of everything. It’s a family-friendly show that has a mix of music, comedy and magic,” he said. “The good news is, if you like magic, obviously it’s a show for you. If you don’t like magic, it’s still a show for you because there are so many different elements to it. There’s lots of audience participation, people are coming on stage constantly. I take someone’s phone and put it in a blender. There’s all kinds of interesting little social things happening as well.”

He spent three years on Broadway with “The Illusionists,” so his show is grand in style and scope, he said.

“I do things with technology. I have these giant screens and I clone myself and teleport myself across the stage,” he said. “It’s a futuristic style of magic.”

Putting together something so grand was no easy feat. There are parts of the show he’s been working on for 15 years, he said.

“It’s always trial and error with these things,” he said.

He adds about 20-30 minutes of new material a year, so every few years he has a new show. And if you’ve seen him before, it’s almost a new show every time because the audience participation is always different, he said.

“Each show kind of takes on its own form,” he said. “It’s probably the most interactive magic show touring at the moment. There are parts where every single person in the audience — the magic happens in their hands.”

The best comment he likes to get is when people tell him they don’t like magic shows but they love his act, he said.

“That’s my favorite thing, when I can turn a non-magic fan into a magic fan,” he said. “I always say this is a show for people who did not know they were fans of magic.

“Part of the reason I started magic was I saw a magician perform,” he said. “I think it’s amazing to bring Broadway-caliber magic — I’m doing magic directly from the Broadway show ‘The Illusionists’ — to (places) like Waukegan.”

He also has a 10-episode series on Netflix called “The Road Trick,” where he travels around the world using magic as an icebreaker to meet locals, he said.

“I got to experience all of these crazy cultural things,” he said. “Magic was the vehicle to make that happen.”

Waukegan audiences can expect to see his Broadway-sized magic, he said.

“Whether this is your first magic show or your hundredth magic show, you’re going to see the most spectacular technological magic that’s currently out there,” he said. “I’m known for my blend of technology with magic. I’d say bring the whole family … and give it a chance.”

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