May 16, 2013 |
Renowned sleight-of-hand magician, actor, author and historian Ricky Jay learned his craft from the best in the field, including Al Fosso, Slydini, Cardini, Dai Vernon and Charlie Miller. These men never made a lot of money during their long careers, and in the case of Cardini, he didn't appear on television for fear of having his act exposed and copied. But to Jay, these master magicians were superstars. "I think the thing about these people who are so good is that they are perpetual students, as well as masters," said Jay, 65, in a recent phone interview.
March 20, 2013 |
Milt Larsen is a master of two kinds of magic. There's the abracadabra kind that his magician parents brought him up on, and the sort he began practicing with his late brother, Bill - the magic of preserving buildings, including the Variety Arts Theater downtown and the Mayfair Music Hall in Santa Monica. The capper is the Magic Castle. Here, 50 years ago, the Larsens - presto-changeo - turned a banker's home into a members-only clubhouse for grown-up magicians and their fans. Larsen has three cable radio shows (old comedy and even older music)
February 5, 2013 |
Albie Selznick's career has been a long, tiring and, at times depressing trip through comedy, music and acting. But Selznick hopes his story - or at least the version of it he performs each weekend - is a hero's journey. The 54-year-old actor-magician takes the small, intimate stage at the Road Theatre Co. in North Hollywood each weekend to perform a show that draws heavily from this childhood struggles to cope with his father's death by using magic. PHOTOS: Arts and culture in pictures "When I was a kid my friends used to ask me why I wanted to be a magician," Selznick says at the beginning of his show, "Smoke and Mirrors.
November 6, 2012 |
What are you most afraid of? Posing that question directly to the audience at the outset of his “Smoke and Mirrors” theatrical magic show at the Promenade Playhouse in Santa Monica, Albie Selznick establishes the evening's unifying theme: overcoming fear as a motivator for extraordinary achievement. As an actor-magician, Selznick sports fine credentials in both domains - he's a company member of NoHo's the Road Theatre (which co-produced this show) and a lifetime member of the Magic Castle in Hollywood - although it's predominantly his experiences in the latter capacity that propel this 90-minute semi-autobiographical narrative threading feats of illusion and legerdemain.
October 29, 2012 |
Neil Patrick Harris will direct a new magic-themed show at the Geffen Playhouse that is set to open on Nov. 27. "Nothing to Hide," featuring magicians Derek DelGaudio and Helder Guimarães, will run at the company's Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater through Jan. 6. The show, which Harris will direct but not appear in, is a series of stage vignettes revolving around sleight-of-hand tricks, according to the Geffen. The company said the production won't be part of its regular season and won't be open for critics to review.
June 8, 2012 |
First published on Dec. 25, 2011. Revised and expanded in early 2012. Pity the rubes. Those wayward tourists who dawdle in their cars and tour buses along Beachwood Drive, enraging the locals as they haltingly seek that perfect Hollywood sign photo op - they know not what they do. Maybe you're not from this neighborhood either, but you have savvier Hollywood plans. They involve horse trails, hidden hotels, a magic castle, a monastery - and that's just a start. Here are 10 Hollywood micro-itineraries suitable for visitors from across town or across the planet.