"Ignite" is playing inside the showroom at the Greek Isles. It is a fire and illusion show
that is filled with dancing and a lot of atmosphere. The show has just received the Merlin
award for "Best New Show," from the International Magicians Society. The show’s star and
producer is Antonio Restivo. Restivo, a former fire specialty performer, has appeared as the
Lord Vampire in "Bite" and is still currently the evil Mordred in "Tournament of Kings."
Restivo brings his full persona and resources to "Ignite," and makes it an evening that is
truly memorable and unique.
It is impossible for me to objectively review this production because I am the show’s director.
I can tell you what I think and what you can expect to see, but it will not be an evaluation as
to what is good and bad. I would, however, invite everyone to go and see the show and then
have you send me your reviews of the work. It is ironic...I became a reviewer because of my
experience and background as a director, but of course I review more shows than I direct, so it
is an opportunity for you now to review the reviewer.
I am extremely proud of receiving the Merlin Award. I think that it is well deserved...not for
me, but for Antonio and the rest of the cast. Since the shows opening, the show has grown
tremendously, and the process of improvement has been ongoing. "Do it, improve it, perfect
it;" could be the motto for this process. I helped get it up and going, and they have taken it
from there. Going back and seeing the show on a regular basis, I am continually amazed at the
amount of production value is going on with that small stage. With the right space and
funding, this could be a blockbuster show.
Doing his own fire and magic show has been a dream and desire of Antonio Restivo for a long
time. This desire was put into action when he decided to create a promotional video of some of
the elements that would certainly be involved in a show. In the process of creating this
video, the management of the Greek Isles had the opportunity to see a lot of the work, and from
that, encouraged Antonio to create his show in their space.
"Smoke and Mirrors" was the initial working title for the show, but that title seemed to be
passive and evoked an image of a tuxedo clad magician or alluded to a con job, rather than
support the Gothic adventures of the Dark Lord. "Ignite" fit the bill much better...it is
short, active, and is vague enough to garner intrigue, but specific enough to evoke hot and
lively images. A lot goes into the naming of a project...a bad or misleading title can do a
lot to kill a show.
Putting a show together from just an idea is always an interesting process. Antonio had a lot
of strong elements and his character and persona, but not a specific way to tie these things
together. We really wanted to present a theme, story, or reason to go from element to another,
rather than have just a series of unconnected tricks. The scenario we come up with then
dictated the order of the illusions and the placement of the dances that we wanted
incorporated. Interestingly, the vague scenario that we initially came up with quickly
solidified and became specific.
The final element of the production was the fire. As the most dangerous and unpredictable
element of the show, the fire was one of the elements that I wanted to work with the
most...however; the Fire Marshall was not as quick and available as I had hoped. We did not
receive the permit that gave us permission to use the fire in the theatre until the day before
opening. Antonio, though, is a seasoned fire performer and knew exactly what to do and had
conducted fire safety classes with the cast at another location. As the show has developed,
more and more fire has been incorporated into the show.
Currently, the show is very strong. There have been some cast changes, time changes, and
refinements of every sort. It is that continued spirit and effort to always make things better
that is going to continue to drive this show.
I have received a lot of great feedback for the show. It is a lot of fun to watch, and I am
back often...now I encourage you to go, watch the show, and send me your reviews...
Official Web Site for Ignite