Last night, the place to be was The Magic Castle at the corner of Franklin and Orange in Hollywood, California. We squeaked in (we are on the waiting list for a hip replacement or a good oiling) just before they closed the parking lot. Phew, we said to no one.
We were dressed in our finest and even polished one of our two shoes (the right – and we always walk with it going first) and wore a tie inherited from our late uncle. Like all families, we had to fight to recover the tie he promised us. Our aunt said he never intended us to have it. Our cousins claimed they were entitled to it. The funeral director said we couldn’t open the casket without a court order. But we have it – most of it – and we were wearing it with the pride of a person who knows how to wear a snap on tie.
Steve Valentine is more than a great magician, he is also a world-famous actor and great guy. When his name is on the bill, there are going to be crowds. Well, last night, his name was on the bill and there were crowds. QED.
Mr. Valentine was hosting a special Castle Perk for members on Street Magic in the beautifully appointed Peller Theatre. Unfortunately, the Peller Theatre seats around 40 guests and there were far more than that looking to learn the ins and outs of performing on boulevards and byways.
We stood solemnly by the door, gazing in with hope and expectation but to no avail. We couldn’t hear a thing. We saw mouths moving and props being displayed but without the language track, the visual was insufficient for us. Dejectedly, we gathered our street performing props and funny hat, and walked away.
After a wonderful meal in the dining room, we were able to see Jeff McBride and Abigail Spinner-McBride in the Palace of Mystery. What a treat. Because of our late arrival and dubious hygiene, we were given a choice seat with lots of room near the front. We have seen Mr. McBride several times and were once again delighted by his creativity and skill. He is a man of many talents and masks. He uses both resources to make for a fantastic show.
We have never seen Ms. Spinner-McBride perform and were equally delighted to see her work. She has a wonderful sense of poise and grace on stage. Her performance of Max Maven’s Brainwave was beautifully done.
The McBrides will be at The Magic Castle through Sunday as part of the Magic and Mystery School Week. If you haven’t seen their show or haven’t seen it in a while, make plans to get there.