Magic Castle photo by Sian Kennedy
For Angelenos suffering from “movie magic” fatigue, here’s your remedy! Head on down to Hollywood for your dose of real-deal magic & mystery that’s guaranteed to get you shouting, “How did he DO that?!” The Magic Castle is one of LA’s oldest still-operating establishments, and it also happens to be its coolest. If there was a real live Hogwarts (that sold booze and had upscale magical groupies), this would be it. On any given night, you can take in up to five official shows in the Close-Up Gallery, Parlour of Prestidigitation, and Palace of Mystery. But the real magic lies throughout the castle’s many sprawling bars each night, as roaming magicians do impromptu shows for guests ready to pick a card, any card.
To get in, you must either be invited by a resident magician, be a dues-paying member yourself, or have a booking at the neighboring Magic Castle Hotel. The exclusivity attracts a lot of celebs, who casually mingle amongst the guests with the same sense of child-like wonder. In the Old Hollywood hey-day, Cary Grant dressed as the doorman to greet people as they came in, Fred Astaire danced on tabletops, and Frank Sinatra sang with the resident piano ghost, Irma. On our most recent visit, John Legend and James Franco were both there, friendly and relaxed as they took in the amazement with the rest of us. It’s easier than you think to get an invite—just send an e-mail request to your friends and it’s almost guaranteed that somebody knows somebody who can get you in.
If you score yourself an invite and are ready to have your magical world rocked, do yourself a huge favor and get down to the Castle this week to see Andrew Goldenhersh perform in the Parlour of Prestidigitation, from March 10-March 16. If you see just one magician in your lifetime, Andrew is the one who is guaranteed to blow your mind. I won’t spill any details here. Just go see for yourself and prepare to hear those famous words come out of your mouth, “How did he DOOO that?!!!”
The Magic Castle has an ultra-strict dress code and an entry fee. Guys, don't even think about going there without a jacket or they'll have you wearing one of theirs... See their website for more information.