I saw my first magician at a friend's birthday party when I was ten. He was funny and silly and made a dove appear in a small wire cage.
I was hooked. The Art of Illusion fascinates me to this day so when I had a chance to visit the private Magic Castle Club in Los Angeles, California, I jumped at it.
The mystery begins when you are told that in order to enter this private club, you must be invited by a member or staying at the Hotel on site. I took a room and made my reservations. The formal dress code is strictly enforced with jacket and tie for men. With my Johnston & Murphy's shined to a gleam, I entered the Magic Club lobby and approached the front desk. This is where the fun began. "Just walk over to the owl on the bookcase and say Open Sesame," she instructed. The owls eyes blinked when I uttered those magical words and the bookcase slid back to allow my entry. Very cool.
The building itself dates back to 1908 and is a labyrinth of hallways, nooks and parlours. Take the time to explore the space and enjoy the historical photos and charicatures. The evening consists of five different magic shows in three seperate rooms with special guest appearances. They range from close up magic to stage shows. Five bars are spread around the large complex and a highlight was the player piano where Irma the ghost will play any tune you call out. It was eerie to watch as the group tried to stump her and couldn't. Dinner was excellent and no sooner had I sat down when who should walk in but Magic Legends Eugene Burger and Max Maven to dine at the table across from me. Most of the people there were magicians.
I soon found out why so much buzz was in the air. That night I was lucky enough to see a farewell performance by the amazing Paul Potassy. Turns out the Who's Who of magic was in attendance for this performance. I'll just say that when Siegfried (of Siegfried and Roy) sat down in front of me at the show, I was impressed.
Mr. Potassy mesmerized us all with his amazing patter and flawless illusions. At one point he cleaned out the pockets of the volunteer on stage, without his knowledge, and began producing his watch, cell phone, comb, wallet, hankerchief and pen, much to the delight of the audience.
What a special evening this is for anyone who enjoys Magic. It is a classic setting with World Class entertainment. I will remember this for the rest of my life.