Show review by Joelene Pynnonen

There was magic in the air as we arrived at the beautiful Jupiters Casino on Friday the 28th of August. Even with the upgraded seating plan Cosentino’s show, Distortions, had sold out and Jupiters Casino’s Theatre was crowded. With an audience of adults as well as numerous very excited children the anticipation was palpable and Cosentino didn’t fail to impress.

The charm, enthusiasm and lack of pretension that we grew to love while watching Australia’s Got Talent is still there in abundance; but Cosentino seems to have grown since striking out on his own. He has gained confidence in the face of large audiences, tempering his performance to their reactions. Even with the theatre packed and resembling nothing so much as a sea of faces, the show felt personalised. Cosentino has an individual and genuine air about him, using gentle self-deprecating humour to bridge the gap between stage and spectators. While much of Cosentino’s humour is aimed at the adults, he doesn’t forget his younger fans. Many of the clips shown are for their benefit, and it was easy to see that the children there were captivated.

Watching the show that he has orchestrated for the whole spectrum of his audience, I found there was something for everyone. But it’s obvious that Cosentino remembers what it was like to be a child, along with his beginnings as an illusionist and escape artist. He makes sure that when the children leave, they will want to learn about magic as much as he did, even going so far as to showing the mechanisms behind one of his illusions.

While watching him on TV back in 2011 it was obvious to everyone how far he could go. With Distortions it seems that he has arrived. The show is a wonderful mix of dance, humour, biography and, of course, magic. The fresh, unique take on an age-old form of entertainment and Cosentino’s ability to personally interact with the audience was always set to be a hit; and this is no exception.

The illusions and performance side of the show is flawless. Rather than limiting himself to the larger than life, grand-scale illusions that many on-stage magicians do, Cosentino brings parts of Distortions right back to basics. Utilising large screens to show the act to the audience; card tricks, predictions and string tricks are dispersed through-out the larger acts. It further serves to create what feels like a close-knit group out of what is, in reality, a substantial crowd.

The grand illusions, that most of us were expecting, were carried out with flair and left onlookers confounded; not only asking how he did it, but how he had come up with the illusion in the first place. While a magician never reveals his tricks, Cosentino shares some of his inspirations and the history behind certain illusions, giving the show more interesting dimensions and drawing it further into a new genre of magic show.

Distortions is a show that he has made his own. The stage, though simple, was decorated with touches of his personality. A high-backed chair, stack of old tomes and set of shelves weighed down with antiquities all serve to tantalise audience expectations. They are also the only traces of traditional illusionist props in the show. Biographically, the props do tie in to the personal journey Cosentino has taken to reach Distortions. The books and shelves speak of the research and innovations that Cosentino discusses with the audience between acts; as he advises the children especially to go to the library if they want to learn magic.

Cosentino’s Distortions is funny and informal; the kind of show that transcends age. Parents and their children will find it just as enthralling as people out with friends or a partner. There is so much more here than a magic show. The humour, performance and Cosentino’s candid personality combine to ensure this a show that will not disappoint.

Tickets with thanks to our creative partner:

Awards

davitt-award  aurealis-award   logo-curtin-university

Peacemaker - Aurealis Award
Best Science Fiction Novel 2014

Curtin University Distinguished Alumni Award 2014

Transformation Space - Aurealis Award
 Best Science Fiction Novel 2010

Sharp Shooter - Davitt Award
Best Crime Novel 2009 (Sisters in Crime Australia) 

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