***Please note that there is a fee to attend the lecture for non members. The details can be found here.
The annual magic auction of the Parent Assembly of the S. A. M. provides an opportunity for magic lovers and collectors to bid on rare magic items, find bargains on tricks, books, and videos, and ponder what the heck someone was thinking when they created the strange magic props of the past. The materials auctioned will come from the collections of the members of the Parent Assembly, although if time remains, nonmembers may auction items as well - and everyone is encouraged to attend to bid. The auction is Thursday, January 10, 7:30 p.m. at Fantasma Magic, 213 West, 35th Street, Suite 401. It's a fun night, and the auction helps fund the activities of the Assembly. Come for the thrills or to pick up the magic item of your dreams.
***Please note that there is a fee to attend the lecture for non members. The details can be found here.
David Roth’s reputation was forged by a remarkable repertoire of original effects that changed the face of coin magic. Early in his career he became a good friend of Ricky Jay and their relationship stretched over the course of decades. Not only were the two magicians friends, but David was Ricky’s backstage assistant in Jay’s hit 1994 stage piece Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants. David worked with Jay on the original production in New York and in subsequent versions nationally and internationally.
Today David is Master in Residence at the Conjuring Arts Research Center, the nonprofit magic library in Manhattan, where he works on a variety of projects related to the organization’s mission preserving and providing access to an extensive collection of materials documenting magic.
David Roth has a unique perspective on the personal and professional sides of Ricky Jay, and we're grateful he spent some time reflecting on his friend for Herb’s Magic.
Herb: How did you first meet Ricky?
David: It’s very funny you should ask, because more than once Ricky and I have sat down and tried to remember the first time we met. And we know it was over forty years ago because it was before I was twenty years old. Irv Tannen got me a job as a magic demonstrator in Las Vegas at a magic shop in Circus Circus casino. It was a real working casino, but it also had a midway, like a circus, so you could bring the kids, in other words. The parents would be on the main floor and next door was like a midway, and there was a magic shop. So Irv Tannen got me a job there. But I already knew Ricky because he wanted me to meet Mike Skinner. The two of them drove seven hours from L. A. To Vegas so that Ricky could introduce me to him. That was wonderful. I’ll never forget that. Mike and I ended up becoming very close friends. We became roommates.
So I knew Ricky before I was twenty, but we can’t remember a specific event, or a party or a show or a meeting where we met. But it was a long time ago.
He was older than you right?
Yeah by about five or six years. I thought that he was 71, but I’ve been reading all over that he was 72. I also read that he was 70. I always thought that he was five years older, but apparently he was six.
At the time approximately when you met, where was he in his life at that point?
Well, he was with the very long hair. He was on the road. He basically ran away from home when he was young and never looked back. He did all kinds of things. He ran a ten-in-one show, he opened for a lot of rock bands. He worked at the Electric Circus when it was here on Eighth Street. He was doing things like that. He looked the part because of his very long hair and he was a lot skinnier then and he had a much higher energy level. You can see that if you watch him on TV shows when he still had the long hair. Dinah Shore adored him. He was on her show at least 20 times.
I remember in the 1970s when he started appearing on all these shows and one of the things that was interesting to me was that he had the long hair and the beard, but he was also wearing a three-piece suit. It was discordant, if you know what I mean. I wanted to think, ‘here’s this guy from the hippie generation who’s representing the next generation of magic,' but you couldn’t figure out what he was all about in a way.
Yeah. I think he did that intentionally. It was an interesting look. That’s right. And he was able to pull it off And he was making the rounds of talk shows. She in particular just really thought he was great and had him on a lot.
Do you remember in those earlier years sitting down and hanging out and doing magic?
This might help date it. We knew each other a while by then. When Doug Henning was doing The Magic Show he had a party in his apartment. The producers got him a very nice place near the theater. And he had a party and he hired me and Derek Dingle and Ricky to do a show. And I’m just glad Ricky went on last. I wouldn’t have wanted to follow him. But that was a while ago. That had to be in the 1970s.
Then he moved out to L. A. and when I got out to L. A. he had this terrific apartment in Venice. He lived in Venice which is a very nice area, kind of a spot for artists. [interview continues-click "read more"]
The Illusionists is back for its fourth turn on Broadway with this year's show heralded as The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays. Click play below to see our video featuring conversations with each of the magicians in the show.
The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays features a wide variety of styles of magic and each of the five conjurors in the company is given a descriptive nickname that hints of the type of illusion they perform, so Adam Trent is "The Futurist," "Darcy Oak," is positioned as the Grand Illusionist," Colin Cloud is "The Deductionist," Chloé Crawford is "The Sorceress," and Shin Lim, winner of this year's America's Got Talent competition is "The Manipulator." The production also features the dance company Light Balance which brings its own illusionistic concepts to the stage. The Illusionists is at the Marquis Theater through December 30.
Special thanks to Harrison Kramer for videography and production assistance.
by Herb Scher
As most readers here will already have learned, Ricky Jay passed away this past Saturday, the 24th. Jay was one of the most influential and highly regarded figures in magic for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was his skill with sleight of hand. However the impression he made had a lot to do with a wholly original approach to his magic and to the other passions he pursued. There was nothing stereotypical in his archly anachronistic style of performance, in the subject matter and tone of the publications he wrote or in his passion for antiquarian books, and his fascination with con artists and charlatans.
Jay's roots were here in New York where as a youngster (then known as Ricky Potash) he began performing in the shows of IBM Ring 26 and the S. A. M.'s Parent Assembly, the magic groups with which his grandfather, Max Katz, was involved. "I remember Ricky performing for the Parent Assembly when he was about six years old, said Warren Kaps, one of the longest-standing members of the Assembly. He was dressed in tails and did the floating cane. . . .For a six-year-old he performed extremely well, which was to the credit of his grandfather who made him practice, practice, practice, and it showed." Jay's grandfather was a successful accountant who also had a passion for magic as well as a number of other diverse interests. Katz was very active in the New York magic scene and was president of the Parent Assembly in the 1948-49 year. Jay recalled in an interview that his grandfather encouraged all his grandchildren in the performance of magic and some of them stuck with it for a year or two, but it was only in Jay that it became a lifelong pursuit. Jay's decision to make magic his full-time profession apparently was a major point of contention with his parents. "His parents were deeply opposed to it," said Kaps, "and he basically ran away from home. . . .It was a real tragedy. By that time I think Max had passed away. If Max had still been alive, I think it would have been much different."
In 1994 Jay created a sensation in New York with his show Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants. It was produced by Second Stage in a small theater on the Upper West Side and after the entire initial run sold out getting tickets took determination. In my case that meant waiting in line before the show for any returned seats. I did get to see the production from one of the last rows in the house. My fellow audience members that night included Steve Martin, Woody Allen and his wife Soon Yi, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, and Mike Nichols. Among the notable pieces in the show was an assembly of queens which was performed with an arcane patter. It turns out that much of the verbiage was drawn directly from The Expert at the Card Table, the seminal 1902 work of card magic attributed to S. W. Erdnase. Jay was able to create a work that thrilled contemporary audiences by finding inspiration in and bringing forward the classic underpinning of his craft.
His fascination with the history of magic and performing was also reflected in his remarkable literary output. In particular, books like Learned Pigs & Fireproof Women and Matthias Buchinger: The Greatest German Living, enlightened readers about a range of eccentric performers who Jay discovered and documented through extensive research with antiquarian books and other resources. These publications among many others represent a legacy of information that will be available to inspire future generations. For an interesting conversation in which Jay touches on his literary interests (as well as a wide range of other topics), check out the interview with Paul Holdengraber at The New York Public Library from 2014.
Ricky Jay's life and his influence have been covered extensively in such resources as Mark Singer's extensive 1993 article in The New Yorker and the documentary Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay (which can be viewed through a number of online sources including Kanopy, available for free through many libraries). What these profiles reveal is a fascinating, complicated and strikingly original individual who blazed a unique path of his own devising.
This past Thursday Steve Cohen appeared at Tannen's for a book-signing event that featured a talk and Q and A session as well as a short performance, all in connection with the publication of his graphic novel, The Millionaire's Magician. Despite the snowy weather conditions, a good-sized crowd appeared for the event. After speaking about the development of his comic and answering questions about his career in magic, including the long run of his show Chamber Magic, Cohen performed two tricks - both of which involved the production of hard substances - a brick and a shot glass of whisky. Below are a number of photos from the event. For more about the development of Cohen's graphic novel, see the interview in the previous post here at Magic in New York.
Steve Cohen's Book Signing at Tannen's, November 15, 2018
All photos are ©Herb Scher and may not be used without permission.
Interview with Steve Cohen About His New Graphic Novel • The Magic-Making Crime Fighter Appears Thursday, November 15 For Book Signing and Free Special Performance at Tannen's
Magician Steve Cohen, has published The Millionaires' Magician, a graphic novel that reveals a dramatic origin story seemingly drawn from the framework of Cohen's true-to-life experiences. There may be some exaggeration in the scenes of hand-to-hand combat and Cohen's tragic confrontation with an evil businessman, but readers will have to draw their own conclusions about the line between truth and fiction.
If this all seems a bit vague, read on for a more in-depth view of how Cohen came to create and publish his 110 page graphic novel with a red-headed conjuring crusader as its hero. The publication of the book will be celebrated this Thursday, November 15 with a free event at Tannen's from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Cohen will present a special performance at 6 p.m. Tannen's is located at 45 West 34th Street, 6th floor (betwen Fifth and Sixth Avenues). On a regular basis Cohen can be seen in his long-running show Chamber Magic currently presented on Fridays and Saturdays at the Lotte New York Palace hotel.
Thanks for agreeing to answer some questions about your new graphic novel, Steve. I wonder, if you could comment on how the comic came about and what motivated you to create it?
I was looking for a new challenge! I had already written a book, created a two-hour television special, and performed a solo show on stage at Carnegie Hall. My ongoing show at the Waldorf Astoria was in its fifteenth year at the Waldorf Astoria. Frankly, I needed a new outlet for my creativity.
One day, on my way to meet a friend for lunch, I had a eureka moment and decided my next project on the spot: I was going to create a comic book. It simultaneously felt thrilling and crazy. What was I getting myself into?
A gallery of artwork from The Millionaire's Magician.
How long have you been working on it?
From conception to publication, the entire process took three years. The script took roughly three months to complete, and then the artwork took another eighteen months. Pitching the book to publishers took a lot longer than expected, and at the end of the day I ended up self-publishing. The nice thing about self-publishing is that you have total control over every detail of the project. The final product exceeded my every expectation.
Can you provide some perspective on the process of creating it? For example in developing the story were there multiple iterations? Did you get feedback from one or more people as you were working on it? And how did you work with the writer and artists who helped you realize this? And is there anything else you can say regarding the process that might not be an obvious part of developing something like this?
I never knew that so many people were involved in creating a comic book! As a child I read thousands of comics, and now have a new appreciation for all of the work that goes into a standard 22-page book. (My graphic novel is a 110-page trade paperback.)
The team I assembled included a script-writer, an artist, a colorist, a letterer, a cover artist, and a book designer. Many comic books separate the roles of penciler and inker, but my artist, Peter Krause, took on both responsibilities.
I sent script drafts to my best friend and long-time collaborator Mark Levy who offered suggestions to enhance certain scenes.
Probably the best critics were my two children, Alex and June. I read the script aloud to them as a bedtime story, to see what they responded to and what confused them. Their feedback was invaluable. [Interview continues - Click "Read More" below].
After years of running a listings section within the Magic in New York blog here at Herb's Magic, Magic Guide NYC has been pulled out as a separate web page with its own link to make it more easily accessible to readers looking for information about magic-related activities in the New York City area. Rather than scrolling through other posts to find the listings, that information now will have its own dedicated spot on the site. It can be reached through the header link found at the top of each page at herbsmagic.com. The Magic in New York blog will continue to offer regular news items about magic in the area.
Magic in New York was launched in June of 2014 and the first listings entry was published in August of that year, pulling together information about magic shows in the area. Since then the posts have expanded to include information about lectures, shops, and get-togethers. Magic Guide NYC is the only source that aims to provide a comprehensive view of the magic-related activity in the area. To submit information regarding shows and activities that should be considered for inclusion, go here.
Parent Assembly of the Society of American Magicians to Present 110th Annual Salute to Magic Show, March 30th at the Abrons Arts Center’s Historic Playhouse Theater • David Kaye Honored as Magician of the Year
Over the course of more than a century legendary talents of magic have performed in the annual Salute to Magic show presented by the Parent Assembly of the Society of American Magicians. Harry Houdini, Dai Vernon, Joseph Dunninger and Dante are just a few of the acclaimed magicians who have appeared. This year the 110th annual Salute to Magic will be held Saturday, March 30, 2019 in the Abrons Arts Center’s historic Playhouse Theater. The Salute is the longest-running annual magic show anywhere and has been a consistent source of inspiration and entertainment for generations of magic lovers of all ages.
“The historic Playhouse Theater at Abrons Arts Center is an intimate jewel-box of a venue that will provide the perfect showcase for the acts of conjuring and variety art that comprise our show,” said Herb Scher, First Vice President of Parent Assembly, #1 and Producer of this year’s Salute. We look forward to presenting a production that fills this fabulous space with dynamic acts and many surprises.” The theater is located in Manhattan at 466 Grand Street, on the Lower East Side. (Full disclosure: Herb also edits this blog!)
David Kaye, Magician of the Year
For the last 51 years the Salute to Magic has also been the occasion for the Assembly to honor its Magician of the Year, a notable figure in the field of magic or someone who has substantially contributed to the mission of the organization. This year’s honoree is David Kaye, who is both an internationally recognized and highly influential professional magician as well as an active and dedicated member of the Assembly who plays an important role in helping it fulfill its mission to support the art of magic.
David is widely known in magic as a leader in the field of children’s magic. He performs regularly for children in New York City, appears frequently as a lecturer at magic conferences across the globe, and has published two influential books on children’s magic. He has been profiled in The New Yorker magazine, has himself appeared on numerous magazine covers, and writes a regular column for Genii, the world’s most widely circulated magic magazine. Among his notable performances are appearances at the White House and Lincoln Center. David was previously honored with a Performing Fellowship from the Academy of Magical Arts, in Hollywood which is the highest honor a magician can receive. David currently is the President of the Parent Assembly where he shapes the agenda of the organization, and last year, as its First Vice President, was responsible for producing the 2018 Salute to Magic.
The Society of American Magicians was founded in 1902 and its Parent Assembly, its first chapter, is the largest and oldest magic club in New York City. The Assembly promotes and elevates the art of magic by presenting shows for the public, holding monthly membership meetings often featuring magic instruction from notable magicians, and performing shows for community organizations at no charge to them. Through its meetings and other activities, the Assembly engenders camaraderie in the magic community leading to collaboration and to a wide variety of official and casual projects.
The Abrons Arts Center’s Playhouse Theater opened in 1915 and has been home to many groundbreaking productions throughout its history. Today it is part of the Henry Street Settlement, which delivers a wide range of social service, arts, and health care programs to more than 50,000 New Yorkers each year. The Parent Assembly’s Salute to Magic will be performed at the Abrons Arts Center as part of the @Abrons program.
Ticket prices and the bill of performers will be announced at a later date. For the latest information visit magicsampa1.com.
On Friday, November 2, Parent Assembly, #1 of the Society of American Magicians will present a lecture by Argentina’s Mago Larry. Larry will feature the history of mentalism and parlor magic, use of pre-show, the approach to the spectator, theory of the materialization of a spectator’s thoughts, mentalism forces, controls, predictions, and book tests, plus professional routines for social or corporate events, as well as some of his personal creations and unique effects.
Larry is an international working magical artist and has won 7 prizes in the last 6 FISM Latin America events. Larry was the National Champion of Spain in 2017. Besides being a working professional performer, Larry has lectured all over the world. He is the founder and director of Latin American Convention of Mentalism.
The lecture will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Fantasma Magic, following the members only meeting of the Parent Assembly. Fantasma Magic is located at 213 West 35th Street, suite 401. The lecture is free for Parent Assembly #1 members, $40 for non-members of the SAM (which can be applied towards PA membership dues), and $10 for S.A.M. members who are not members of PA#1
The location of the longstanding New York City Saturday magic get-together has changed yet again. The new location, as of this date, is the A & H Deli, 431 Seventh Avenue, between 33rd and 34th Streets. The magicians meet in the upstairs eating area near the windows, usually arriving at around noon.
The Saturday magicians group has met regularly for decades, according to some longtime members since the 1940s. Prior locations include Cafe Rustico, Governor Cafeteria, and Reubens Deli. Most recently the meetings were briefly held at another deli on 33rd Street.
The group has been one of the hubs of the New York City magic community, a place to learn from other magicians, share knowledge, try out new tricks, and pick up the latest news. Over the years many notable magicians have attended the get-togethers during the course of working on their skills and building their careers, however it is a resource that is available to anyone who is interested in magic. We have a separate write up about the group in our Magic Guide (scroll down until you find the blog post "Magic Guide, NYC).
We will stay up to date on the status of the group's locations and report back with an update if anything changes.
Magician Joshua Jay will perform on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon this coming Friday, October 26. The show airs at 11:30 p.m. on NBC. The appearance will provide Jay the opportunity to publicize the extension of his live show Six Impossible Things which starts performances again on October 25 at Wildrence, a venue on Canal Street in Manhattan. It originally was presented in the same space this past summer.
In comments to Herb's Magic Jay provided details about the development of the piece that he will perform on The Tonight Show. "The tough thing was, nothing in my show translates to late-night television," Jay said. All the pieces from the show are quite environment-specific, and so we (we being my collaborators on the piece, Danny Garcia and the Other Brothers) put together a fun, dare-I-say comedy piece that will play big and fit the time limit we've been given. It's a huge departure for me, which I love, and it's nothing at all like my show. And I was very fortunate that some buddies in Vegas allowed me to perform the piece on their shows each night for a week, so I could test some of the sequences before we run it on The Tonight Show."
It's been a busy time for Jay who yesterday, in addition to delivering a sold out lecture at Tannen's, also announced that he and Andi Gladwin, his partner at their magic company, Vanishing, Inc, have acquired Dan and Dave Buck's The Art of Magic enterprise. The Art of Magic markets an extensive line of instructional videos by such conjurors as Asi Wind, Ricky Smith, Jason England, Juan Tamariz, and Jared Kopf to name a few. In addition Jay and Gladwin are producing two magic conferences in January. They are presenting The Session, held January 11th to 13th in London and then Magifest in Columbus, Ohio, January 17th to 19th.
Six Impossible Things will run at Wildrence, 59 Canal Street. For additional information including the show schedule and a link to purchase tickets, go to: siximpossiblethingsshow.com
Throughout the history of magic there have been many influential figures who made notable contributions to the art even though their livings came from other full-time occupations. Among them are a number of physicians who have created innovative techniques, stood out as performers, or otherwise dedicated themselves to the field of conjuring. Dr. Kedar Sankholkar, a New York City cardiologist and magician, will appear October 26 in Magic and Mysteries of the Heart, a free event at The New York Pubilc Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. Dr. Sankholkar will perform a wide range of magic at the event and will also weave into his presentation valuable information about the heart, focusing on ways that individuals can actively improve their own health.
Dr. Sankholkar says that his thinking about similarities between magic and medicine evolved after wondering why some patients would change their behavior to lead toward healthier outcomes while others struggled with the same types of changes. "My main goal is to motivate people to make the right choices for their health through education and entertainment," says Dr. Sankholkar. "As magicians we are doing sleight of hand that when looked at in isolation has no meaning, but when presented well spectators turn it into something in their minds. That’s where the magic happens. It’s completely in their minds. I’ve started to notice that’s also where true changes for a patient’s heart happens. It has to start in their minds."
In addition to Dr. Sankholkar's presentation, Herb Scher (editor of this blog), will introduce the event with remarks about physicians over the last 115 years who have made notable contributions to magic. These include Jacob Daley, who was an innovator of card magic; Richard Mark, a psychiatrist and developer of mentalism effects; and Saram Ellison, who was instrumental in founding the Society of American Magicians in 1902. Dr. Ellison donated a series of scrapbooks to The New York Public Library that are filled with invaluable items documenting aspects of magic history from the late 1800s into the 1910s, and a selection of these items will be featured in the presentation. The materials are now part of the Billy Rose Theatre Division at the Library for the Performing Arts.
Although admission to the event is free, reservations are recommended. Additional information is available here. The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is located at Lincoln Center. The easiest access to the Bruno Walter Auditorium where the event will occur is at Amsterdam Avenue just south of 65th Street.
Upcoming New York City Magic Shows, Events, Get-Togethers & More
As of: September 24, 2018
Magic Shows and Events
October 18 at 10 p.m.
November 15 at 10 p.m.
Hosted by mentalist Eric Dittelman, Amazeballs provides an opportunity for magicians to experiment with new material. Plus the show presents a different featured comedy act each month.
Creek and the Cave, 10-93 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, New York
For more information: Click Here.
A Taste of Magic
A Taste of Magic includes dinner plus tableside performances of close-up magic between courses of the meal. Guests usually see three or four magicians at their table as well as effects performed for the whole room by the show's host.
Saturday, September 8, at 8 p.m., Dock's Oyster Bar, 633 Third Avenue
Friday, September 14, at 8 p.m., Gossip Restaurant, 733 Ninth Avenue
Saturday, September 22, at 8 p.m., Dock's Oyster Bar, 633 Third Avenue
Friday, September 28, at 8 p.m., Gossip Restaurant, 733 Ninth Avenue
Saturday, October 6, at 8 p.m. at Dock's Oyster Bar, 633 Third Avenue
Friday, October 12, at 8 p.m. at Gossip Restaurant, 733 Ninth Avenue
For more information: atasteofmagicnyc.com
At the Illusionists' Table
Through October 28
Illusionist Scott Silven hosts an evening of dining and whisky interwoven with magic. Presented at "The McKittrick Hotel," the complex of performance spaces that also is home to the immersive stage production "Sleep No More." For information: https://mckittrickhotel.com/events/at-the-illusionists-table/mckittrickhotel.com/events/at-the-illusionists-table/
Chamber Magic, featuring Steve Cohen
Fridays at 7 and 9 p.m.; Saturdays at 2, 7 and 9 p.m.
Cohen's long running show (which has a dress code for audience members) harks to an earlier era of parlor magic. Cohen has drawn together rarely seen effects from a across a span of magic's history for an effective and very entertaining evening of magic. Chamber Magic is now performed at Lotte New York Palace Hotel, 455 Madison Avenue (b/t 50th & 51st Streets). For more information: www.chambermagic.com, or 866-811-4111.
Note: on September 28 and 29 Cohen is performing Chamber Magic in Chicago at the Waldorf Astoria hotel.
Magic After Hours, with Noah Levine
The show provides an insider's view of Tannen's magic shop, focusing on its history and legacy, as well as a performance of close-up magic by Noah Levine (Levine recently was selected as a recipient of one of the Allan Slaight Awards for excellence in magic in the category of "International Rising Star.") The show plays most Tuesdays and Wednesdays although performances are sometimes scheduled on other days of the week. 8 p.m. at Tannen's Magic, 45 West 34th Street, 6th Floor. For tickets and more information: www.magicafterhours.com
Magic at Coney
The Magic at Coney series presents a rotating bill of three or four performers each week in an area rich in magic history. Sundays at noon at the Coney Island Museum, 1208 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn
For more information and tickets: www.coneyisland.com/programs/magic-coney
Magic and Mysteries of the Heart
Friday, October 26, 7 p.m.
Dr. Kedar Sankholkar, a cardiologist and magician will explore the connections between mind and heart. He will use magic as a means of educating his audience about how they can actively maintain and improve heart health. Herb Scher will introduce the event with a presentation about notable magicians who were also physicians, including Saram Ellison, founder of the Society of American Magicians, Jacob Daley, and mentalist Richard Mark. The event at the Library is free, although reservations are recommended. For more information, go here.
At The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, Bruno Walter Auditorium. Enter from Amsterdam Avenue, just south of 65th Street.
Magicienne Among the Spirits, featuring Belinda Sinclair
Performances Thursday through Sunday in a location within walking distance of Times Square (address disclosed after tickets are purchased). The show is performed for a group of 8 to 10 people in Belinda's "secret conjuring room." It is an intimate show that includes a focus on magic history with a particular look at conjuring's female masters. Also includes pre-show tea and biscuits. For more information: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2993182
Monday Night Magic
September 24, at 8 p.m., featuring: Trigg Watson, Throwdini, Harrison Greenbaum (headliner), with Master of Ceremonies, Todd Robbins. Close-up performances at intermission by Mike Patrick and Kevin Kapinos.
October 1, at 8 p.m. featuring: Torkova, Jason Suran, Peter Samelson (headliner) with Master of Ceremonies, David Corsaro. Close-up performances at intermission by Alexander Boyce and T. J. Tana.
October 8, at 8 p.m., featuring: Noah Levine, Kyle and Mistie Knight, Michael Chaut (headliner) with Master of Ceremonies, Todd Robbins. Close-up performances at intermission by Brandon Williams and Patrick Davis
October 15, at 8 p.m. Alexander Boyce, Ben Nemzer, Eric Dittelman (headliner) with Master of Ceremonies, David Corsaro. Close-up performances at intermission by Michael Chaut and Peter Samelson.
October 22, at 8 p.m., featuring: Jeremy Mikaelson, Denny Corby, Eran Raven (headliner) with Master of Ceremonies, Ben Nemzer. Close-up performances at intermission by Richard Cohn and Mike Patrick.
October 29, at 8 p.m., featuring Mike Patrick, Marcus Monroe and Jon Stetson (headliner) with Master of Ceremonies, Todd Robbins. Close-up performances at intermission by Eric Brown and Alexander Boyce.
Players Theatre, 125 MacDougal Street. For information: mondaynightmagic.com, 718-575-1349
Myron the Magnificent at the Brooklyn Public Library
September 29, 1 p.m., at the Red Hook Library, 7 Wolcott Street, Brooklyn
October 27, 1 p.m., Central Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn For more info about this show.
Both performances are presented free of charge.
October 24, 9:30 p.m.
The Cutting Room, 44 East 32nd Street
Tickets for Nate Staniforth
Parlor of Mystery
Sunday, October 28, at 7 p.m. The Halloween Special, featuring Todd Landman
Sunday,November 25, at 7 p.m., featuring performances by Steve Rodman, Greg Milstein, Gary Brown and closeu-up performances at intermission by Sam Wallach.
South Shore Theatre Experience, 115 South Wellwood Ave.Lindenhurst, NY (Long Island)
For more information: parlorofmystery.com, 631-669-0506
Parlor of Mystery shows are held the fourth Sunday of every month.
Sam Eaton's The Quantum Eye: Magic and Mentalism Show
The show plays most Saturdays at 4 p.m. Please check the current schedule via the Quantum Eye web site.
Theatre 80, 80 Saint Mark's Place
For more information: www.thequantumeye.com
Six Impossible Things, featuring Joshua Jay
October 25 through December 15; and March 22 through May 12
Joshua Jay's show is an immersive close-up magic show presented in an unusual venue on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The audience is limited to 20 members at each performance.
The Mist, 59 Canal Street. For more information: www.siximpossiblethingsshow.com
Friday, September 28 at 11 p.m. and October 13, 20, and 27 at 10 p.m.
A magic medley at the McKCittrick Hotel, hosted by magician, sideshow artist, and raconteur Todd Robbins and featuring performances by a crew of close-up magic specialists who perform for patrons tableside. For more information: Speakeasy Magick.
The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays
November 23 through December 30
Although it sets its acts into a contemporary framework with such tools as lasers, video walls, and electronic music, The Illusionists is a modern day magic revue, showcasing acts of many different styles, including illusions, mentalism, and card magic. In this year's rendition on Brodway it features Shin Lim, winner of the 2018 America's Got Talent competition, as well as felllow conjurors Adam Trent, Colin Cloud, Dary Oake, and Chloé Crawford.
The Marquis Theatre, 210 West 46th Street. For more information and tickets, go here.
The Magician, featuring Dan White
An intimate evening of magic, mystery, and deception.
The show is presented Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.
Please check the show's web site for specific availability.
Nomad Upstairs, The Nomad Hotel, 1170 Broadway (and 28th Street)
For more information: www.nomadupstairs.com
Vitaly: An Evening of Wonders
Through September 30
Westside Theatre, 407 West 43rd Street
For more information: Click Here
Lectures, Seminars, and Public Appearances
September 29, noon to 3 p.m.
Magician Steven Brundage will make an in-store appearance at Fantasma Magic, performing some of the effects that gained him attention on America's Got Talent. Visitors who fool Brundage with a trick will win a prize! Fantasma Magic, 213 West 35th Street, 4th Floor
The Magic Show the Musical and Me, with Peter DePaula
October 4, 8 p.m.
New York Theosophical Society, 242 East 53rd Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues).
October 23, 2018, 7 p.m.
Lecture at Tannen's Magic, 45 West 34th Street. For more information: Click Here.
Saturday Magicians Get-Together
Saturdays from approximately noon to 5 p.m.
A & H Deli, 431 Seventh Avenue, between 33rd and 34th Streets
Magicians gather on Saturdays, in a longstanding tradition to share information, help each other with tricks, and socialize (the group traces its heritage to the 1940s). The get-together is attended by magicians of all levels from beginners to working pros. Many future magic greats got their start by learning from fellow magicians at this weekly meet-up. Among the regular attendees are a core group of skilled practitioners, all of whom are willing to pass along knowledge to other magicians. Anyone interested in magic is welcome to attend. The group has recently moved to a new location on West 33rd Street (see above) after many years at a pizza restaurant on 35th Street.
The Magic Table
Fridays at 1 p.m.
Times Square Diner & Grill, 807 Eighth Avenue (49th Street)
The Magic Table is another longstanding gathering for magicians. It has always been based in the Times Square area, harking to the time when the neighborhood was home to multiple magic businesses like the Tannen's and Max Holden magic stores. This get-together often stretches out from lunchtime until early evening as magicians schmooze over omelets, sandwiches, and soup. It is frequented by a group of dedicated regulars as well as magicians visiting New York and occasional surprise guests. (See a Today show piece about the group here).
Wednesday evenings, 6 p. m.
Gossip Restaurant, 733 Ninth Avenue
Magnets is a newer group that meets for weekly jam sessions and workshops and also occasionally sponsors its own lectures, workshops and shows. Although everyone is welcome, the group skews toward magicians in their 20s and 30s, supporting each other with feedback on performances, booking and marketing information, and help achieving long-term goals. Many of the Magnets members perform in the show, A Taste of Magic, which is a spin-off of the group. Anyone interested in magic is welcome to attend the Wednesday night sessions.
Magicians Meet Up at Rubenstein Atrium
Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m.
61 West 62nd Street (enter on Broadway or on Columbus Avenue)
In this recently-launched meet up session, magicians are getting together at the Rubenstein Atrium, a public space that is part of Lincoln Center, for sharing and development of ideas, the chance to receive feedback from fellow magicians, and the opportunity to perform for lay people who also are gathered in the striking public space. A number of the magicians involved focus on coin magic, but the group is open to attendance by anyone interested in any aspect of magic.
Magic Societies, New York City Chapters
New York is home to chapters of two separate international magic societies, The International Brotherhood of Magicians and the Society of American Magicians.
International Brotherhood of Magicians, Ring 26
The Harry Roz-On Ring of the I. B. M. meets the last Friday of each month at the Associated Musicians of Greater New York, 322 West 48th Street. The group presents frequent shows by members and by special guests as well as regular Lab sessions where members teach magic. The I. B. M. is characterized by a strong community of members who share in their love of magic. For information about joining, please write the group's President, Jim Stranges, at: MagicJim1@optonline.net.
Society of American Magicians, Parent Assembly, #1
The S. A. M. was founded in New York in 1902. After the group expanded nationally, the local chapter became known as Parent Assembly, #1. Parent Assembly meets the first Friday of each month. Meetings are often held at Fantasma Magic but special shows are sometimes held elsewhere. Parent Assembly meetings offer a wide variety of programming ranging from lectures with notable magicians to performances by members, historical talks, and seasonal celebrations. PA1 also presents a monthly workshop which features instruction by noted magician Doug Edwards. For information about joining Parent Assembly, please contact Membership Committee Chairman, Steve Okulewicz, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Society of Young Magicians
The first Saturday of every month, except July and August, from 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Tannen's Magic, 45 West 34th Street, 6th Floor
Young magicians (18 years and below) gather to learn from each other as well as a special guest every meeting. The group often gets opportunities to perform for lay-people and professional magicians alike. Tricks are taught, critiques are given and young magicians can collaborate and have fun. This is for any young person interested in magic, including folks who are first starting out or are at an intermediate level. For more information about the SYM, contact Cory Bragar at: email@example.com.
New York City's Magic Shops
Tannen's, 45 West 34th Street, Suite 608, 212-929-4500
Tannen's is New York's oldest magic shop and is a hub of magic activity in the city. The store's Chief demonstrator Magick Balay and a crew of other skilled staff keep a stream of tricks flowing from behind the counter while often a wide range of magicians, magic lovers, (and parents of budding magicians) hang out at the table in the center of the room. Notable magicians are known to pop by and the store is on the itinerary of many conjurors visiting from out-of-town. Although the decor feels a bit home-grown, the store is very well-stocked with the latest tricks, an extensive selection of books and DVDs as well as supplies and basics like cards, silks, rope, flash paper, etc. There is a treasure of magic books - which may be borrowed free of charge. Just look to the left of the large elephant in the room. www.tannens.com
Fantasma Magic, 213 West 35th Street, 212-233-3633
Fantasma, which recently moved a couple blocks to a new location, is characterized by its personable staff as well as by the extensive collection of rare and original Houdini memorabilia on display. These include a selection of professionally displayed posters, handcuffs, photographs, props and other items. The displays of Houdini materials take up the majority of the space in the shop. It is definitely worth visiting for anyone interested in the noted escape artist. Fantasma currently has a good stock of magic basics as well as unique and exclusive products. Many of the items Fantasma sells are those manufactured by their parent toy company, including a smorgasbord of magic sets and individual tricks. www.fantasmamagic.com
Abracadabra, 19 West 21st Street, New York City, NY
Abracadabra has a magic section within the larger store that sells costumes and other items.
Halloween Adventure, 808 Broadway
Halloween Adventure also has a magic section in its large store.
Magician Gary brown and "After Houdini" Author Jeremy Holt Appear in Events at Fantasma Magic-September 21 and October 4
Two upcoming magic-related events, a lecture with Gary Brown, presented Friday, September 21 at 7 p.m. by the Parent Assembly of the Society of American Magicians, and a book-signing by Jeremy Holt, author of the graphic novel After Houdini, on October 4 will be held at Fantasma Magic/The Houdini Museum.
Gary Brown is a magician, historian, writer, inventor and a United States Magistrate Judge. His magic writings include The Coney Island Fakir, an award-winning biography about magic dealer Al Flosso, as well as articles about magic and related phenomena for The New York Times, American Heritage, Emmy, Invention & Technology, and a plethora of conjuring periodicals.
Gary will be offering Tricks from the Fourth Dimension, a lecture featured at this year’s IBM National Convention. As part of that presentation, Gary will demonstrate, discuss and teach a series of effects used by 19th-century medium Henry Slade to baffle scientists, giving rise to the theory of the Fourth Dimension. These effects can be performed today with equal impact in a variety of settings.The lecture is free for members of the Parent Assembly, Society of American Magicians, $10 for S. A. M. members who are not members of Parent Assembly, and $40 for non-SAM members which can be applied to PA1 membership dues when application is received on the lecture night. The lecture starts at 7 p.m. but pizza and refreshments will be served starting at 6 p.m.
In the graphic novel After Houdini, author Jeremy Holt creates a revisionist take on Harry Houdini, putting the magician at the center of a spy thriller where the escape artist reaches out to his son Josef for help (in actuality Houdini and his wife Bess never had children). Holt will be on hand to sign books from 6 to 9 p.m. (After Houdini has art by John Lucas and coloring by Adrian S. Crossa.)
Fantasma Magic is located at 315 West 35th Street, room 401.
Peter DePaula Gives a Behind-The-Scenes View of Life Starring in The National Tour of Broadway's "The Magic Show," October 4
Peter DePaula, who starred in the national tour of the hit musical The Magic Show, directly after it created a sensation on Broadway in the 1970s, will discuss his experiences performing in the influential production in The Magic Show the Musical and Me, an event presented Thursday, October 4, by the Parent Assembly of The Society of American Magicians. Peter will provide a behind-the-scenes view revealing how he was cast in the production (in the role created by Doug Henning), how he learned the material, including the major illusions it contained, and what it was like to tour the country at the center of a show that created a new framework for how magic was performed and perceived. Peter will also discuss the New York magic scene during the time in which he was cast in the show and he will demonstrate and teach close-up effects that were among those he would perform when promoting The Magic Show on television. The event will be held at The New York Theosophical Society in Manhattan (details below).
The Magic Show caused a major change in the world of magic. It opened in May 1974 at the Cort Theatre on Broadway and ran for 1,920 performances, closing on December 31, 1978. Doug Henning was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical and director Grover Dale was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical.
This musical turned magic around, changing the way magicians dressed, the way magic incorporated musical accompaniment, and how it was presented in general. It opened the door for the TV magic special and tweaked the interest of the television and film industry in exploring the art of magic. A previous version of this presentation was given at The Magic Castle in Los Angeles for the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Broadway show.
The event is free for Parent Assembly, #1 members, $15 for non-members of the S. A. M., $10 for S.A.M. members who are not members of PA1.
It will be held at the New York Theosophical Society, 242 East 53rd Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues). Doors for The Magic Show the Musical and Me open at 7:45 p.m. after the conclusion of the Parent Assembly business meeting.
Bruce Kalver will perform tonight at 8 p.m. in a free show presented by the Parent Assembly of the Society of American Magicians in New York. Kalver has had an extensive career performing magic around the world and is also known for his shrinking and growing head spiral illusion as well as for his monthly column in the S. A. M.'s magazine M-U-M. The show is at Pearl Studios, 500 Eighth Ave. between 35 and 36 street, in room 401. Doors open to the public at about 7:45 p.m.
Adam Wilber will be on hand tomorrow, Saturday, September 8, at Fantasma magic from noon to 3 p.m. Among other accomplishments, Wilber appeared on Penn & Teller: Fool Us and was successful in duping the duo with the trick Clone. Fool Adam with your own original trick and win a prize worth $50 plus have the opportunity to have your trick made and marketed by Ellusionist or Fantasma. The latest Ellusionist products will be shown and there will be special offers on Ellusionist products. Fantasma Magic is at 213 West 35th Street, 4th Floor, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues.
The Illusionists will return to Broadway for the fourth consecutive year in a new version of the international magic franchise. This year's show, The Illusionists - Magic of the Holidays, features five top-billed magicians: Darcy Oake, Adam Trent, Colin Cloud, Shin Lim and Chloé Crawford, who will perform a wide variety of magic including illusions, close-up effects, mentalism and escapes. Although the number of magicians is fewer than in previous iterations of the show, the production will also feature the dance group Light Balance which uses electronically illuminated costumes and black art techniques to create illusionistic, animated effects. The Illusionists – Magic of the Holidays will run November 23 through December 30 at the Marquis Theatre, 210 West 46th Street.
For our 2014 Interview with Simon Painter, a Producer of The Illusionists, go here.
The Illusionists premiered in Sydney, Australia in January 2012 with a cast of seven conjurors. Since then a number of different companies of the show and spin-off productions have toured throughout the world. In each version of The Illusoinists, the magicians are billed with descriptive nicknames indicating their specialty. In the upcoming Broadway company Adam Trent is positioned as "The Futurist," Oake performs as "The Grand Illusionist," Cloud is billed as "The Deductionist," Lim is heralded as "The Manipulator," and Crawford is known as "The Sorceress."
Adam Trent is a veteran of The Ilusionists' first foray to Broadway in 2014. In that production he was featured in a segment in which he interacted with a large video wall, causing items to appear and disappear into the high-tech screen and using it as a moving backdrop to create the illusion of motion and other effects. Trent returned to Broadway with The Illusionists in 2015 and later toured in a solo magic production sponsored by the show's producers. Among other accomplishments he stars in a 10-episode Netflix series in which he performs magic for people he meets while travelling abroad.
Darcy Oake gained visibility on Britain's Got Talent where he was a finalist in the competition in 2014. He also has appeared on Penn & Teller: Fool Us and has made a number of high profile appearances including a performance at a 90th birthday celebration for Queen Elizabeth.
Chloe Crawford was a magic assistant to Murray Sawchuck in Las Vegas and then performed in Criss Angel's touring show The Supernaturalists and eventually in his Las Vegas show MindFreak Live. Crawford gained recognition as a solo magic act on the 2015 season of Britain's Got Talent in which she impressed the judges with a series of stage illusions.
Colin Cloud is a mentalist who bills himself as the "Sherlock Holmes of entertainment." He has appeared on both Britain's Got Talent and America's Got Talent as well as Penn & Teller: Fool Us. He also toured in The Illusionists - Live from Broadway, a previous version of the magic revue. As Colin McLeod he has released a variety of well-received publications and effects to the magic community.
Shin Lim was a winner of the FISM competition in 2015 for card magic and is one of the finalists in the current season of America's Got Talent. He also appeared twice on Penn & Teller: Fool Us, fooling the magicians both times. He is known for performing extended card magic routines, set to music, which involve multiple transformations and transpositions. Lim also has released a series of videos and other products for magicians interested in learning his routines.
Light Balance is a dance troupe from Dnipro City, Ukraine. They competed on Britain's Got Talent in 2014 and then on America's Got Talent in 2017 where they finished third place in the competition.
For more information about The Illusionists - Magic of the Holidays, or to purchase tickets, click here.
Todd Robbins is the Ringleader of a New Late Night Magic Medley at the McKittrick Hotel, SePtember 7, 21, and 28
Magick at the McKittrick is a new late night magic experience featuring magician, sideshow artist, and raconteur Todd Robbins as its host and ringleader. The evening also features performances by a crew of closeup magic specialists, and will include tableside Tarot readings, and live music. The show is presented at the McKittrick Hotel in the venue's Manderley Bar which on show nights will be transformed into the "Magick Speakeasy." The next performances are scheduled for September 7, September 21, and September 28, although Magick at the McKittrick is planned as an ongoing event and additional dates will be added. The evening begins at 11:30 p.m. and runs until approximately 1:30 a.m.
"Patrons will experience an unparalleled display of remarkable close-up magic," according to Robbins, "as nine of the City's top magicians take turns visiting the patron's table and presenting an intimate concert of sleight-of-hand magic, mentalism, pickpocketry, sideshow skills and more." Brief performances will also be given on stage throughout the night. The show features a rotating roster of magicians which currently includes: Matthew Holtzclaw, Prakash Puru, Noah Levine, Matias Letelier, Jason Suran, Patrick Davis, Alex Boyce and Mark Calabrese. Robbins's co-host is Virginia Logan who also does "whimsical Tarot readings" at the tables. Stride and jazz pianist Jesse Gelber will provide music. "Anything can happen, and probably will, and probably will happen to you," continues Robbins in describing Magick at the McKittrick.
Todd Robbins is a multifaceted performer who has established himself most vividly for perpetuating the traditions of the sideshow including stunts like eating light bulbs and hammering a nail into his nasal cavities. He is also a talented magician who starred in Play Dead an off-Brodway show of true ghost stories and haunted happenings that Robbins created with Teller of Penn & Teller. He also can be seen as the host of Investigation Discovery's show True Nightmares and is a partner in the team that produces Monday Night Magic at the Players Theater in Greenwich Village.
The McKittrick Hotel was created as the venue for the immersive theater production Sleep No More and has branched out to also host a variety of other events, including another magic evening, At the Illusionist's Table.
For information about tickets to "Magick at the McKittrick," click here. Links to purchase tickets are live on the venue's Calendar of Events.
Interview with Cristian Petru Panaite, Curator of "Summer of Magic: Treasures from the David Copperfield Collection"
David Copperfield has built the world's most extensive collection of items related to magic, and guests who have been given tours of the displays he has created in a large Las Vegas building marvel at what they are able to see there. However, the venue is not open to the public at large and many of the items in it have rarely been displayed. The New-York Historical Society has brought a selection of objects from Copperfield's collection to New York which they are showcasing in the exhibition Summer of Magic: Treasures from the David Copperfield Collection, which runs through September 16. In our audio interview (click the player below to listen), the show's curator, Cristian Petru Panaite talks about his process of working with Copperfield to organize the exhibition and gives an overview of the materials on display. Panaite also talks about his own perspective on the meaning of magic and why it is a topic worthy of consideration in a museum like the New-York Historical Society.
The colorful and alluring exhibit features items related to Alexander Herrmann, Harry Kellar, Harry and Bess Houdini, Howard Thurston, Chung Ling Soo (William Robinson), Adelaide Herrmann, Alexander, the Man Who Knows, and numerous others from the 1880s through the 1930s, what the exhibition refers to as "The Golden Age of Magic." Some of the most notable items relate to Houdini, including his Metamorphosis trunk, a milk can, and a costume worn by Bess Houdini. It is also striking to see one of the rifles used by William Robinson in his guise of Chung Ling Soo, in the bullet catch act, which eventually resulted in his death while performing it. The exhibition also features a case full of the types of tricks purchased in magic shops over decades and that will be the envy of anyone who ever covetously paged through the catalog of a favorite magic shop. There also is a selection of stunning, large lithographs, and visitors will have the chance to see one of Copperfield's most well-known illusions.
The Historical Society has also been presenting an extensive series of magic-related programming throughout the summer. Remaining events include today's (August 26) demonstration of a magic lantern show, and a final weekend of performances on September 15 and 16 featuring Duffy Hudson as Harry Houdini.
The New-York Historical Society is located at 170 Central Park West at 77th Street. For more information about Summer of Magic: https://www.nyhistory.org/summer-magic.
A Blog About New York's Magic Scene
Interviews With Magicans
Denny Haney • Scott Alexander & Puck
David and Leeman
Simon Painter (Producer)
David Roth on Ricky Jay
Interviews by Herb for Parent Assembly 1 Channel