[Herald Review] ‘The Sherlock’ combines magic and musical theater

By 줄리 잭슨 (Julie Jackson)
  • Published : Dec 7, 2015 - 17:11
  • Updated : Dec 7, 2015 - 17:11

Famed local magician Choi Hyun-woo is presenting his latest stage production, “The Sherlock: Gravity 503,” a magic show with a live musical flair and a dash of unscripted comedy.

Choi, 37, was the first Asian winner of the Originality Award at the International Federation of Magic Societies’ 2009 World Championship of Magic -- the world’s largest magic competition -- and was also selected as the youngest judge at the federation’s 2012 championships.

Choi first launched his series of live magic productions in Korea in 2002, and has since performed more than 1,000 shows. Returning with his latest Sherlock Holmes mystery-solving concept, the magician has decided to combine the elements of musical storytelling with his particular brand of magic tricks. 

A scene from magician Choi Hyun-woo‘s latest live show, “The Sherlock: Gravity 503.” (Clip Service)
From his multiple disappearing acts, to making a car and even a small plane appear on stage, “The Sherlock” is a clever interactive way of having the audience help the detective gather theoretical puzzle pieces to catch the bad guy, all the while enjoying a taste of musical theater.

The production’s random musical song and dance interludes were a bit out of place at times, but nevertheless made for an interesting method of relaying the mystery plot to the audience.

Although nowhere near the grand scale and mind-blowing illusions of a David Copperfield Vegas extravaganza, Choi’s family-oriented musical magic show still provides laughs and fun for all ages.

While some of the tricks were not terribly original, it is guaranteed that the spectators will at some point be astounded.

The show thrives on the entertainment factor with interactions and involvement with members of the audience. One of the most laugh-out-loud scenes was when Choi selected one lucky child from the audience to join him on stage.

Like a flashback from Bill Cosby’s ’90s American comedy series “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” the magician placed an ordinary helmet on a young boy, telling him it was a special lie-detector device.

“Do you think your mom is the prettiest woman in the world?” the magician asked the child, to which the youngster sat befuddled, unsure of how to answer the question.

“Yes,” the kid responded only to be greeted with blaring sounds of a red flashing siren, indicating his lie.

“That thing is amazing,” the child said, staring at the siren as the audience burst into laughter.

Choi then took one of the boy’s sneakers and magically made his shoe disappear into a locked chained box hanging above them on stage.

“The Sherlock: Gravity 503” is staged twice a day, with the exception of Monday, at Seoul Olympic Park’s Woori Financial Art Hall until Jan. 3. Ticket prices range from 55,000 won ($47) to 88,000 won. For more information, call 1577-3363.

By Julie Jackson (juliejackson@heraldcorp.com)