Photo Flash: Joanne Worley, Fred Willard and More Celebrate Milt Larsen at the Magic Castle
A host of illusion loving personalities, including JoAnne Worley, Richard Sherman, Johnny Cannizarro, Tippi Hedren, Chuck McMann, Fred Willard, Leonard Maltin, Debbie Reynolds and more, gathered in the Inner Circle of the world famous Magic Castle to celebrate the birthday of its co-founder and expert of all things magical - Mr. Milt Larsen. In tribute to the guest of honor, all guests arrived wearing their own version of the Larsen trademark mustache.
The cliche', "Born in a trunk," could very well have been penned for Milt Larsen, as the youngest of an entertainment family, who practiced the second oldest profession of magic on the old theatre circuit. As Milt explains it, "I was born the day that Vaudeville died, and have been trying to revive it since." Between the founding of The Magic Castle and the Academy of Magical Arts, Milt has certainly kept the theatrical staple on life support all of these years. One of the evenings highlights, included the unveiling of an original artwork entitled "Dreamers" by celebrated artist, Jim Mulligan, which depicts Mr. Larsen and his childhood idols, Walt Disney, both in front of their famous castles. On hand for the presentation was a mutual friend and colleague to both Disney and Larsen, Multi-Academy Award winning composer, Richard Sherman.
As part of the week long celebration, Mr Larsen is producing his annual "It's Magic!!!" show with Terry Hill at The Norris Theatre (27570 Crossfield Dr., Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274) on Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 7:30pm ($40 for adults, $25 for children by calling (310) 544-0403 x 221 or visiting www.norristheatre.org)
The longest running magic revue, "It's Magic" is Milt's brainstorm no celebrating tis 58th annual show featuring internationally recognized magicians and top variety acts from Las Vegas, Europe, Asia and Hollywood's Magic Castle. Included among the elite of prestidigitation are Juliana Chen (world famous female magician); Liberty Larsen (granddaughter of one of the founders of the Magic Castle in Hollywood; Dana Daniels (multi award winning comedy magician); Adam Trent (star of the College Performing scene); as well as Canadian star magician's. Murray Hattfield and Teresa.
In November of 2009 the historic structure, once known as the Lane Mansion, celebrated its centennial. On Jan 2nd, 1963 that same structure became the clubhouse for the private magicians club, the Academy of Magical Arts, popularly known as The Magic Castle. The Magic Castle has grown over the years from its original design to include 13 performance spaces including close-up magic, the Parlor of Prestidigitation and The Palace of Mystery. In addition, just as the Magic Castle has drawn practically every great magician of the modern era that appeared within its walls (as well as a few noted amateur illusionists including Cary Grant, Johnny Carson, Jason Alexander, Tony Curtis, Dom DeLuise, and Neil Patrick Harris, to name a few), it is anticipated that the public will be equally interested in embracing the ultimate icon of magic, much as they have everything enchanted in entertainment from Harry Potter's adventures and televisions "Wizards of Waverly Place" to "WICKED" on the great white way. Brookledge Corp. recently released Larsen's next book, entitled "My Magical Journey: The First 30,000 Days."
Photo Credit: Bill Dow
Chuck & Betty McCann with John Larsen