See cutting-edge magic at Adam Trent show
As one of the revolving cast members of the touring group “The Illusionists,” Adam Trent was branded as The Futurist, mainly because he used a lot of high-tech gadgetry to help wow audiences — along with his multi-talents in music, dancing and comedy.
For his solo show that runs through Oct. 22 at the Eldorado Hotel Casino — called “Adam Trent — The Next Generation of Magic” — there’s definitely some sophisticated effects, but it sounds like the future is now for Trent.
“I do several bits in this show that certainly can be called ‘futuristic,’ but I don’t really use that name anymore,” said Trent during an interview in August before his show started its run. “I describe this as a fresh show.
“There is absolutely modern technology that you won’t see in a show anywhere else. It’s really the cutting-edge of what is available in live theater. But what I want people to leave with is just that they had a good time and that it was fun, and that’s why we have so much audience participation and the music and comedy.”
Trent’s show at the Eldorado is produced by the “Illusionists” team. He said while it has elements of his previous known work, it’s also quite different from those original routines that made his name in magic circles.
“We do a live hologram projects, there are giant LED walls that I will be clinging to, I’m teleporting across the stage ... it’s mostly a bunch of new effects,” Trent said.
It’s also a show for all ages.
“What I want people to take away from it is that it’s a good show to come to with your family,” he said. “You’ll laugh, have fun, be shocked and amazed and see some cutting-edge magic.”
Getting to know Reno
Trent said that while he is fine with doing one-night-only shows, he does have a love of an extended run like the one happening at the Eldorado.
“You get to be settled down and get acquainted with the town,” he said. “And doing an extended run allows me to mix and match things in the show. As soon as we leave Reno, we have a tour that’s going to last 15 weeks or so, so being in Reno will give me a chance to try out everything and see what works the best.”
To that end, Trent said that each of the shows in Reno are going to have differences every time, including changes in the running order of the specific set pieces or the addition of new ideas during the run of the show. It’s something he’s used to from his own work in Vegas and other extended runs during his career.
“I’ve had people come up to me and tell me they’ve seen the show five, six, seven times,” he said. “They’ll tell me that in the lobby after the show and I’m like, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ (laughs). But I do feel like it’s a fresh show every time. We generally let go of the reins more than other shows do.”
Part of that is because half the show has some kind of audience participation in it. “A lot of it is situational, interactions with people and putting people in the audience in unique situations,” he said. “It’s really different that just doing the same thing over and over again. And every time there’s a different set of volunteers, so it’s always changing for me.”
He’s also happy to be at the Eldorado specifically: “The reason why we chose to come to Reno is the opening for the show is because of their willingness to do something cutting-edge and fresh and different.”
The shows also feature some music and dancing as well, facts that came to the fore during a conversation about Trent’s upbringing in Boulder, Colorado.
“When I was growing up I was watching Michael Jackson and then the boy band phenomenon when I was 13 years old,” he said. “And your thinking, ‘Wow, how do we get from music and dancing and boy bands to this?’ But, I was literally playing music and doing magic at the same time. I really had the love for them both, so music is definitely one of the themes of the show now.”
Trent did start out early in the performing arts. His bio states that he was performing magic at birthday parties at age 9 in his native Boulder, Colorado, and with his own act at variety shows and street magic shows in his early teens.
After performing on his own for many years after graduating high school, he was asked to join the Broadway show “The Illusionists,” which he did in winter 2015. He also was a part of the “Illusionists” touring shows in America following that Broadway stint.
After his work with “The Illusionists,” Trent ended up being featured on TV shows, including “America’s Got Talent.” He also continued to perform solo shows and develop other projects, all at a time when magic was becoming increasingly popular in the mainstream. He credits his “Illusionists” producers with helping to popularize it again.
“I think they did to magic what Cirque de Soleil did for circuses — took it from being a cheap, silly thing and remade it for something that was great for adults, a specifically high-end, nighttime show format,” he said. “They really are the best team of creative people you could have. I call it a freight train of support for what we want to do and to be encouraging us to be unique.”
Trent also has his own web television series on Red Bull TV. In “The Road Trick,” Trent travels to other countries to perform magic and also profile other people in each city.
“Red Bull gave me complete freedom to do what we wanted, which was to make it real and not like a produced reality show,” Trent said. “We pretty much just showed up in Europe without a plan and two cameras followed me around, so everything on it is real. No staged encounters. It’s the most real and raw magic series I think that’s been done to date, so it’s something I’m very proud of.”