The Grand Illusion Show

In 1896 New York, Adelaide is a recent widow. Her husband was the famous magician, Alexander Herrmann, and now she – his long-time assistant – wants the rights to perform his illusions herself. The trouble is no woman has ever performed this kind of magic before. To prove she’s qualified to carry on her husband’s legacy, Adelaide will perform the most dangerous trick of all: the infamous Bullet Catch. Based on...
In 1896 New York, Adelaide is a recent widow. Her husband was the famous magician, Alexander Herrmann, and now she – his long-time assistant – wants the rights to perform his illusions herself. The trouble is no woman has ever performed this kind of magic before. To prove she’s qualified to carry on her husband’s legacy, Adelaide will perform the most dangerous trick of all: the infamous Bullet Catch. Based on a true story, The Grand Illusion Show blends Adelaide’s story with real illusions as it examines the limitations of the glass-ceilings we’ve broken, and those we must still work to shatter.
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The Grand Illusion Show

Recommended by

  • Samantha Cooper:
    12 Oct. 2019
    Who knew the world was in such bad need of a mystically play about a female magician fighting for her legacy in the boys club of grand illusions? Well, Dendinger knew, that's who! This play clips along at a fantastic pace, mirroring the twists, turns, and misdirections of the world of magic it explores all while exploring questions of female histories and how we take control of our own stories when the world is doing everything it to make our contributions disappear.
  • Stephen Foglia:
    11 Oct. 2019
    Such a winning, vibrant magic-show of a play. Dendinger hits a sweet spot of historical comedy that reflects, with both charm and anger, the world of today. If it's this much fun to read, I can only imagine how the play takes flight when the wonderful illusions are actually staged!
  • Callan Stout:
    9 Oct. 2019
    I don’t remember when I last read a play where the dialogue popped off the page like this. Each character immediately comes to life with their first line of dialogue. The whole play snaps and crackles and it seduces you to the end. Can’t wait to see it done!

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Orlando Shakes PlayFest
    ,
    2019
  • Workshop
    ,
    NJ Rep
    ,
    2017
  • Workshop
    ,
    TimeLine Theatre
    ,
    2017
  • Reading
    ,
    TimeLine Theatre
    ,
    2016

Awards

Finalist
,
PlayFest
,
Orlando Shakes
,
2019
Finalist
,
Ingram New Play Lab at Nashville Rep
,
2019