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Benny the Illusion

Benny the Illusion

Location + schedule

Bryant-Lake Bowl
810 W Lake St

DateTimeMy FringeAccess
Saturday 8/72:30 p.m.  
Sunday 8/87:00 p.m.  
Wednesday 8/115:30 p.m.  
Thursday 8/127:00 p.m.  
Saturday 8/144:00 p.m.  
About the show

For ages 7+
Improv, Comedy, Family, Kids

Created by Bentura and Ralph Peralez

Overall rating

Twelve-year-old "Benny the Illusion" loves to play and invites the audience to enter his world of magic and comedy. His humor and warm smile transcends all generations and cultures. Great family entertainment!

User reviews

Two Jew Review is back and loves Benny!
by TwoJewReview Sadovsky Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
(In lieu of our annual Latke rating system (best show = Five Latkes!) The Two-Jew Review introduces the Poe rating system (as in Poe from the Teletubbies) to honor the newest member of our review team. With Elle out of town, Goy David and I proudly introduce 3.5 year- old Jude William, of the Jude Dude Review.) Officially the youngest gold pass carrying Fringe- goer of all time, Jude gives Benny the Illusion 5 Poes! He especially loves the wooden nickels and the colorful ropes and rings that appear on stage frequently in the hands of youth. He sat through the entire show, only calling out “I need to go potty!” once and joined the others in asking aloud “What happened to the rope?” and calling out “mamacita!” on command. After the show, he politely waited online to shake the magician’s magic hand.

Anything else you remember about the show, Jude? "I drank milk." See full review at

Dude Parents loved this show! The main act is a pair of teenaged brothers—the older a deadpan teen with a guitar who plays the straight man to manic Benny, who offers the audience a mismatch of card, rings, and rope tricks, which are hard to discern at times. Fortunately, Benny’s stage presence is pure joy—earnest, lively, and delightfully self-conscious with the charisma to pull off mishaps with aplomb; his charm is the true magic here. The highlight is the show behind the show, the bittersweet tale of a proud, unnecessarily self-deprecating, definitely nostalgic, grandfather—a self-introduced, longtime storyteller who is clearly at home in front of a crowd. In his blinking bowtie, handing out wooden nickels to the kiddies and coaching his easy-going grandsons intentionally from the sidelines, he performs the greatest and most subtle trick of all, the one that almost goes unnoticed—stepping aside to allow his future generations take the spotlight center stage.

Get your wooden nickels here.
by Gabriel Heller Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
If you haven't seen rope tricks, ring tricks, or rope-and-ring tricks for a while, (or if your children haven't seen them at all) this show makes for a lighthearted primer. It was refreshing (if occasionally painful) to see such a young performer attempting and most often succeeding at such tricks without the firm hand of an adult restraining his natural enthusiasm. That is not to say his grandfather wasn't hovering in the wings (and introducing the show), but contrary to stereotype he appears to be the most kind and encouraging of stage parents; if only there were more like him I would enjoy far more shows starring young people. He definitely will give your kids the illusion that they could be "an illusion," too, with a little practice. Occasionally goofy, but quite enjoyable, for
those of you wishing to rebel against conventional wisdom, this is the only show I know where you can take wooden nickels.