Marvyn’s Magic Theater Opens

There are certain names in Magic that immediately grab your attention.  Marvyn’s Magic is just one such name.   Now Marvyn’s Magic is the namesake for a newly launched Magic Theater in La Quinta, California. “From the moment you step inside expect to be dazzled by a magical experience.”

Jeff Hobson is the Producer and Director of Entertainment for Marvyn’s Magic Theater.

Who will you see at Marvyn’s Magic Theater?

How about Marvyn Roy,  “Mr. Electric.”  Now 94 years old and the draw that brought many of us into the world of Magic.  He is the reason the theater was named for him.

“Mr. Hobson is is own inimitable self as he emcees the show dedicated to be a place he would’ve wanted to perform in if he were still traveling on the road as a magician.

Mr. Dobson told the local news outlet, Channel 3, “I traveled around the world,” he said. “I Spent 14 years on the strip of Las Vegas and I didn’t know what my home looked like and I had a friend, a local resident, Gary Bueller say if you ever want to open a place let me know. I turned him down for 12 years and finally he showed me La Quinta, feel in love with it and I said okay, time to get off the road, time to settle down and open up my own place.”

It is not an ordinary place.

“At Marvyn’s Magic Theater we want you to be unsure of yourself,” he said. “This quaint theater seats 129 people and is only for those 21 and older.  There are mysteries to behold beyond the entertainment on stage.

Entertainers from Las Vegas, Broadway and all over the world will perform magic, grand illusion, escape magic, mentalism magic, close-up magic, hilarious comedy, prop comedy, joggling, ventriloquism and other kinds of performance art.

“You’ll never know what you’re going to get but it’s always going to be a great show,” Hobson said.

Showtimes are Wednesdays through Thursdays at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.

Tickets cost $65 on regular nights and $45 on Sundays. You can buy them online at marvynsmagictheater.com or their box office.

Marvyn’s is located in La Quinta at 46630 Washington St, La Quinta, CA 92253.

Ad for an Amazing Magician

We Have spent untold funds on Nick Lewin’s effects over the years.  His routines are tested before real audiences — he often shows performance videos — he sends a DVD and all the props you need to perform wonderful effects.  

But now we are psyched in the most psychic manner a young psychic can be psyched.

Mr. Lewin performs in a carefree and entertaining way with great humor and a relaxed manner that puts his audience at ease.  There are no bullet catches that we know of, not a single slamming your hand onto a cup that may or may not have a sharp (and likely tetanus teaming nail) through your magic hand or even crude asides at those who have gathered in the ship’s theater or on a Las Vegas stage.  To say that we are a fan-boy is accurate except we are no longer a boy — except at heart.  By the way, his Gypsy Yarn is the best ever.  It is not the Gypsy Thread of your grandparents or even the dental floss version we used to do.  No, it takes the game up to new heights.  Dizzying heights.  It is expensive but worth every farthing.

We have never been disappointed by Mr. Lewin‘s offerings — not once.  You know the feeling of disappointment and no doubt have a drawer full of tricks that looked great but once you tried them or even just read the instructions, you were disenchanted or even felt your good money hath gone to the darkside.  Not so with Mr. Lewin’s effects.

He has tried the pieces before real audiences for years.  They work.  And they are not difficult to learn — especially with his wonderful instruction.  Just check out this beauty.

By the way, we are receiving zip, nada, zilch for this endorsement.  It is written only out of appreciation.

Now he has agreed to release one of this best, time-tested psychic effects ever presented and we are honored that we were among his followers (in the cult sense) to receive the early notice of this offering.

Please click this link to see the offering.  The price is clearly too low.  At $25.00 you receive an act, not just a trick.  And it is a funny, wonderful act that packs very small and plays huge.  This is a steal but will not be available forever.  Click the link and have something that will never be in your magic drawer but in your magic case — ready to wow people who have never seen anything like it.

We have to go light candles at our altar for Mr. Lewin and his contribution to our great art.

How Magic Can Help Teachers

We read a great article on a website dedicated to helping teachers be more effective.  It was about magic naturally.  It began with the question, “What do Derren Brown, David Blaine and the like have to teach us about managing our classrooms?”

The answer according to teacher and magician William Lismore is a lot.

For instance, with the four words, “Are you watching closely?” the audience — a packed house or a classroom — will very likely focus and their attention will be directed at the speaker of those magic words.

We recall seeing Harry Blackstone Jr. perform live and he said, “Watch closely.  What you are about to see you will remember for the rest of your life.”

Man did we watch closely and man do we remember.  He floated a lit lightbulb over the audience and back to the stage.  It went right over us and we could see nothing to support its flight.  That memory is locked in our peanut-sized and shaped brain.  Mr. Lismore provides three areas where magicians can use their skills to enrapt a classroom.

The three skills are Misdirection, Showmanship and Suggestion.

We don’t want to take away his thunder and suggest you read his essay — even if you aren’t a teacher.  Magicians can learn from teachers as well.

We had a teacher in the fifth grade who could perform magic.  He was fantastic.  He could pull coins from the air, from behind some kids’ ears and out of their noses.  Kids would pass him in the hall and ask him to pull a coin from their nose.

We think he taught home economics or physics.  We don’t remember but he could do things with tissue paper and sponge balls that would blow away even an adult audience.  It may have been creative writing he taught except we didn’t take creative writing in the fifth grade so it probably wasn’t that.  Still, we remember him once making a kid’s head seem to disappear in a cardboard box.  Everyone screamed and then he returned the head and all was fine.  But you know what it is like in school, if one person gets sick, everyone gets sick and there’s a mess and an investigation.

We think it was geometry he taught.  We know he used the blackboard and could make it look like he could shove the chalk up his nose and pull it out of his ear.  He was a heck of a teacher.

Continue reading “How Magic Can Help Teachers”

A New Magic Niche: Oldsters

There are a lot of innovative magicians out there.  They invent magic tricks we could never conceive.  But as we were told at a bus stop in West Hollywood, “Invent what you know.”

We have no idea what its real purpose was but it inspired us.  We should create tricks that are based on the things we handle every day.  Then we should find an audience of similarly minded (and aged) people to whom we can perform and sell the tricks.

The CPAP of Mystery:

This is a trick involving a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine.  It is a staple of those afflicted with sleep apnea – one of the few disorders that affect the entire family except for the person with the disorder.  It stops obnoxious and annoying snoring.

(Ironically, Obnoxious and Annoying was the name of our first duo act.  We played the mischievous character Annoying (despite being underweight for the part) and a current star of stage and screen played Mr. Obnoxious.  We were true to the script as written by Shakespeare and even wore period costumes.  Few playgoers have read the original text and, to be honest, it is a play often over-looked by Shakespearean scholars.  Additionally it is four hours long.  And we performed it without scenery or props.  And we could not afford stage lights so we used flashlights to shine on each other. And our make-up was overdone due to a product placement deal we had with L’Oréal.  Nonetheless, it was up for a Tony® award but it was a tough year and we lost to A Chorus Line.  Our agent’s protests that we should be in the category for dramatic performance fell on deaf ears and we were pitted against one of the most popular Broadway musicals of all time.  As most English majors can recall, Obnoxious and Annoying does have some singing and dancing in the seventh act when Annoying pretends to be dancing with the love of his life, Spiteful.  The New York Times gave it a middling review, “There is a good reason this play is overlooked when one considers the full range of Shakespearean plays, it is terrible.  But here we have two men willing to perform a play that should have been burned or used as scrap-paper acting without any accoutrements on a stage too small in a room too large for its pitiful audience size.”  The New Yorker was not as kind, “Obnoxious and Annoying and Too Long” should have been the title for this forgettable foray into a play the Great Bard himself said was “not worthy of his cheapest ink.”)

But back to the illusion of the CPAP machine.  An audience member selects a card from a freely shuffled deck, signs it, returns it to the deck.  And then she throws the deck directly at the performer wearing a CPAP mask.  The card instantly appears in the mask and when turned around (with either the performer’s fingers or tongue), it is shown to be the signed card.  With a CPAP machine, we could sell it for $1,700.  Without the CPAP machine – in case the performer already has one – it would cost $3.00.  We think it would be a big hit. Continue reading “A New Magic Niche: Oldsters”

Another Magic Podcast?

We are considering launching a magic podcast with an emphasis on some of the older magicians who can provide a narrative history of our wonderful art.  From our review of the current world of magic podcasts, it appears the topic of young and innovative magicians is covered.

We find great joy in hearing stories of those that worked the same roads and rooms (and roads and rooms no longer in existence) and imagine podcast audiences will feel the same way.

When we say older magicians, we don’t mean old in age but in experience.  If you are aware of or are a magician with a great story, we’d love to talk to you.  No need to come to our posh studio apartment on top of the dog food store in West Hollywood.  We can set up a Skype session or even use the telephone to talk.

Send your nominations to podcast@insidemagic.com and let’s set it up.  It would be helpful to give us a little of your background and then our research staff will dig to create questions designed to let you tell your story.

The podcast will not just be for magicians, but everyone in the variety arts — including agents and managers.

Send us your suggestions to podcast@insidemagic.com and we’ll get right back to you.

 

Shawn Farquhar’s Hidden Wonders

We received a great note from award winning magician and great (and funny) guy, Shawn Farquhar.  He wrote to tell us about his new 75 minute show (which is about an hour an 15 minutes if our Casio watch / Calculator is correct).  Check out the very well-produced website here and visit this once in a lifetime experience with demonstrably one of the best in our humble art.
During the whole month of October I’ve opened a speakeasy style magic experience in a fake business front in Chinatown in Vancouver, Canada.  If anyone is coming through Vancouver let me know.
Hidden Wonders is a speakeasy-style performance venue hidden behind a fake business facade in Vancouver’s Chinatown and is the brainchild of two-time world champion of magic, Shawn Farquhar. The idea is part of a new trend in magic entertainment that focuses less on grand-scale illusions and more on intimate experiences that leave the audience awestruck and moved. Similar venues can be found in such cities as New York, Chicago and San Diego where they have become hugely popular.
The seventy-five-minute magic experience will feature effects exclusively designed for the venue as well as several of the effects Shawn created to impress Ellen, win the world championship and to fool Vegas’s Penn & Teller twice on their hit television show Fool Us.
Cheers,
Shawn Farquhar
Editor’s note:  If you were to ask, “Hey, what’s one of your greatest weaknesses?” We would respond that we are easily star-struck.  Even at the Magic Castle or at magic conventions, we lack the ability to walk up to stars of our art and start a conversation.
We stumble, smile uncontrollably and remain mum.  (Ironically, “Remain Mum” was the name of our script for an un-produced project about a mom who doesn’t change in any way but raises her children without incident, accident or trauma.  The script ran 3 hours but needed no special effects budget so we thought it was a sure sale.
Hollywood, according to all the major studios, the indie studios and guys and gals that have access to the latest iPhones and apps to make movies, needs some kind of character development or “incident” or “something” to happen that affects someone in the script.
Examples given by the studios were: Rocky (he develops his body and fights someone and hits meat and gets a dog); Spider Man (he develops his super powers, fights people, eats meat and gets a girlfriend); Snow White (she develops friendships with dwarfs who own a diamond mine, eats an apple and gets married).  The guy we approached who owns the iPhone and special app that lets him make movies cited Citizen Kane (he develops the power to name snow globes, makes a newspaper, eats meat and gets married).  But that’s Hollywood.
We’re hoping someone will pick up the script or we’ll have to add meat eating and super powers.  Mom could have web strands that catch meat and feed her dog with it).  Our point — and this time we have one — is that we are so honored that Mr. Farquhar contacted us.  We’ve met him on several occasions and each time acted like a statue.
We’re sure he was impressed by our inability to speak — even after we just performed our act in the basement of the Magic Castle where we speak a lot — and that’s why he wrote us.  Plus, despite his fame, he is truly a nice person with talents that would be great for a movie script — assuming he eats  meat and/or has a dog.

Mac King is Hitting the Road

Inside Magic Favorite Mac King wrote today that he’s “pretty darn excited to be be taking a weekend away from Las Vegas to do some rare east coast shows. If you live in Connecticut or Massachusetts, I’d love to see you!”

Click HERE for tickets to the Foxborough, MA show.

Click HERE for tickets to the New Britain, CT show.

Click HERE for tickets to the Southport, CT show.

He promises to be announcing more dates soon.

These excursions are not at the expense of his day job.  He is performing in Las Vegas in his beautiful theater at Harrah’s.  If you haven’t seen his show, you’ve missed a lot and while life is short, it isn’t so short that you don’t have time to see him either on the road or at his home in Harrah’s.

You’ll laugh, you’ll be amazed, and you may cry — we cry at supermarket openings so we’re no judge but if we were, we’d say you’re certain to cry when you see the audience interaction.   Very touching and special.

Bottom line: Do Not Miss Him.

Eric Knaus is the Great Zucchini

Eric Knaus, known by the stage name “The Great Zucchini,” performs “900 shows a year and has been flown around the world to different conventions to be keynote speaker to other entertainers.”  He is beloved by kids and one funny guy.  He will be performing during Magic Month at Vienna’s 2019 Oktoberfest on Saturday, Oct. 5 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 131 Church St. NE. in Vienna.

He got his start performing when he “was working at a kids’ party place as one of their hosts and realized that lots of parents were requesting me to host their kids’ parties, because of my ability to make kids laugh.

‘Then, I realized I could do it on my own and 30 years later, I still enjoy performing, as when I first started.”

Mr. Knaus says the key to being successful in the very competitive market of Kid Show work is reliability and trust.

“I had a mom book me for her kid’s 4th birthday party and I did the mom’s party when she was 4. I care about each and every performance, and my success is based on reliability, and the trust that parents have in me. For instance, my show is geared for 2-7-year-olds. Most people know that, but if they don’t and I get a call from a mom that has a child turning 8, I’ll recommend her to a friend that gears shows for older kids.”

He derived his unique name from a suggestion from his father.  “My dad was just rattling off names and he said, “The Great Zucchini,” and it rhymes with Houdini, so I liked it right away.”  He credits his mom as his inspiration. “She is the most positive person I know, and at age 74, is still learning new things and living every day to the fullest.”

Learn more about the event here.

Check out Mr. Knaus’ website here.

Magic Month is Nigh

TLDR: Send your Magic Month Events to events@insidemagic.com.

We are so close to Magic Month we can taste it.

Or that could be something else but we will consider it the taste of Magic Month approaching in just a few days.  Maybe it is tuna.

There are so many great shows, workshops and things other than workshops or shows scheduled for this month.  It is, as someone we once knew would say, “like Christmas for Magicians.”  We stopped knowing him because he went to the dark side and started exposing magic tricks on a YouTube channel.  He has many viewers and so by that standard he is a star and probably richly rewarded for his betrayal of his IBM and SAM oath to never expose a magic secret.  Especially one that does not belong to him.

But enough about the downers related to Magic Month.  Let’s discuss the great things that are about to happen.

In these pages of what some have called The Magic Periodical for the 1980s, we will feature (hopefully in advance of their happening) magic shows and lectures by people who love magic and respect its most sacred rules.  And there will be a ton of them.  That is likely because they will be multiple in number and not because any one of them is grossly over-weight.

Pop Haydn will be at Santa Monica’s Magicopolis as we have detailed in an earlier post.  We understand that particular post was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature (by us – hence our understanding) and if there is nothing published between then and the end of the year, we have a shot at bringing home whatever one gets when one wins the prize.  We think you get money and a statue of Alfred Nobel.  He was famous for inventing dynamite and without him there would be no flash paper, flash string, or flash bangs.

We owe a debt of gratitude to him and certainly as one who has been burned, scarred, and scared of flash devices, we owe him a debt of thanks for the very practical education we received.  We used to manufacture flash devices you could use apparently to shoot fire from your fingertips.  We can still make one in 15 minutes if pressed – and if you don’t press us, we can make it in 10 minutes but when pressed, our breathing becomes more desperate and we start to panic although we do like a good hug as much as the next guy.

We’re on a bus (not our own – it belongs to the city) as we write this and the next guy looks like he needs a hug.  We’ve learned from court-ordered classes, however, that just because someone looks like they need a hug, doesn’t mean we have a right to give that person a hug.  Lesson learned.  Just like don’t look down the tube of a flash device to see if the coil is working if that tube is jam packed with a flash wad and a bit of gunpowder.

We were proud that two of our flash devices were used by Doug Henning on one of his television specials but not proud that but for our very heavy framed glasses, we would have been blinded by the ball of fire and gunpowder that bounced off our glass and scared the dog and our foster parents.  They weren’t foster parents at the time but claimed to be later, after a couple more of those types of events.

We digress, as one does during Magic Month.

Come back often to get an update on shows, workshops and what-nots happening during this upcoming month.  If you have an event you’d like to publicize, please send the details to us at events@insidemagic.com.  We’ll be sure to publicize the heck out of it.

Magic Month here we come.  We can’t wait.

David Copperfield Has to Live Somewhere

We were reading The Los Angeles Times this morning.  Our neighbor is a late sleeper.  And came across a story about a very wealthy casino person buying or building a $16 million home just outside of Las Vegas.

We were amazed to read that his neighbors would include casino person Steve Wynn and David Copperfield.

It never occurred to us — because we are very shallow and you could break your fool neck diving into our intellect — that David Copperfield had a house.

Yes, we know he has an Island and has done wonderful work for the people devastated by the recent hurricane by helping provide food and necessities and being physically on the ground serving people who were in desperate need.

But those stories did not trigger the thought in our pea sized (and shaped) brain that Mr. Copperfield has an actual home some place where he lives, and has non-hotel-type keys with logos on both sides and a magnetic strip that must be inserted the correct way to enter a room or a suite.

We assumed — and we learned from our world-famous magician father to never “assume” because something, something, bad (learning is not the same as remembering but we know not to use “assume” — that he lived backstage of his constantly sold out Las Vegas show or in one of the hotel rooms at the MGM Grand where his constantly sold out show happens.

We figured that while he was on the road, he stayed in the tour bus, backstage or maybe a nearby motel.  Actually, we didn’t really think about it that much and just presumed — we assume that’s a better replacement for the term “assume” — that he lived on the big tour bus like a country music star but without the country music accouterments.  Our dad said to never use the word “accouterments” but there was some other reason and it could be that we were using it incorrectly or didn’t seem to understand its meaning or were saying it in a non-French accent.

Now we know that Mr. Copperfield has an actual home.  He likely has more than one.  Maybe on his island in the Bahamas — in which case, we hope the damage from the hurricane was not horrible.  If it did sustain horrible damage, then we are even more impressed that he took time out his life to work in soup kitchens and hurricane relief centers for the people of the Bahamas.

We’ve said it before but we will repeat it because it bears repeating, David Copperfield is not only an Inside Magic Favorite and Magician of the Millennium but a great guy who cares.

We are happy he has an actual home and hope he likes his new neighbors.  He probably will  because he is a good guy.