CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 10, 1991 |
On a hillside overlooking Hollywood, developer Bob Klebs stepped through the doors of the mansion--now a private club--and found himself in an old Victorian room hung with red velvet wallpaper. On a bookshelf stood a brass owl. Klebs approached and spoke to it: "Open sesame." Immediately, the bookcase slid aside, giving way to a secret passageway and other rooms--and laughter--beyond.
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.
July 2, 1995 |
There are those who say vaudeville died in the mid-1930s; others, such as magician Harry Blackstone Jr., believe that it was murdered. The offspring of legendary magician Harry Blackstone, Harry Jr.--who carries on the family tradition of performing such illusions as the Floating Light Bulb and the Dancing Handkerchief--says vaudeville met its demise because of jokes like this one: "Did you know that my parents were in the iron and steel business? My mother did the ironing. . . ."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 4, 2009 |
David Avadon, a professional illusionist who wrote a 2007 book on pickpocketing, which was his trademark theatrical act, has died. He was 60. Avadon, who had a recent history of heart problems, suffered a heart attack and died Aug. 22 while working out at a fitness club in Santa Monica, said his brother, Joe Hutchins. For more than 30 years, Avadon had regularly presented his pickpocket act at the Magic Castle in Hollywood. He also had entertained throughout the United States, in Japan, Canada and Great Britain and served as a technical consultant on TV and film productions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 17, 2010 |
Glenn Falkenstein, a renowned mentalist who came to fame in the early 1970s when he was a staple at the Magic Castle in Hollywood and hosted his own Los Angeles call-in radio show, has died. He was 78. Falkenstein, a former longtime Sherman Oaks resident who had struggled with Alzheimer's disease since 2006, died July 4, several days after entering a memory-care unit at an assisted-living facility in San Antonio, said his wife and performing partner, Frances Willard. "He was the consummate showman, a showman of the old school," said magician David Charvet, who hosted a memorial for Falkenstein at the Magic Castle last Sunday.
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.
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.
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.
September 13, 1988
Art Director, Magic Castle Designer John H. Shrum, 61, an art director who designed the Magic Castle, Hollywood's well-known magicians' club, and the set designer for "The Tonight Show" since Johnny Carson moved to the West Coast. Shrum also turned an old theater in Santa Monica into the Mayfair Music Hall and converted an aging (1924), 7-story former women's club into the Variety Arts Center in downtown Los Angeles. In Los Angeles on Saturday of an apparent heart attack.