A NIGHT AT THE MAGIC CASTLE Comes to Pasadena Playhouse Tonight
"Technically, I was born the year that Vaudeville died and I have spent most of my life trying to bring it back to life," says Milt Larsen (co-founder of the Magic Castle - now celebrating its 50th year) adds, "I am encouraged to see such a strong revival of interest in the art of illusion, both nationwide and around the world. It is the one Vaudevillian staple that never went away. The pulse may have been faint at times, but has been steadily growing over recent years and I have faith that it is well on its way to making a full recovery."
Milt Larsen, along with Terry Hill, is currently executive producing "It's Magic!" (itsmagicshow.com) now in its 56th year. A tradition for magic buffs and slight of hand fans, the show has been seen regularly throughout the USA including Hawaii, Washington, California, Arizona and Connecticut. The upcoming production will be appearing at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Center on Saturday, November 30th at 7:00 pm and will be hosted by Michael Carbonaro ("The Magic Clerk" from "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno").
The recent off shore production of the show entitled "The Magic Castle at Sea," has been highlighted by USA Today as a winner in "The Best of Cruise Ship Entertainment." Crystal's new Magic Castle at Sea has been so popular that Crystal has expanded the number of performances per sailing.
Additionally, proving to be a family affair, Erika Larsen (grand-daughter and niece of the co-founders of famous entertainment venue) is now producing "A Night At The Magic Castle" at the historic Pasadena Playhouse (http://www.pasadenaplayhouse.org/box-office/special-events/a-night-of-magic-from-the-magic-castle.html) tonight, August 4, 2013 at 7:00 p.m, prompting the question, how long before we will be seeing Magic Castle productions on the Great White Way?
In light of the success of film trilogies such as "Harry Potter," "Lord of the Rings," and now the Percy Jackson movies, the demand for all things magical including paraphernalia has been flooding the market. However, the story of magic predates film, television and even the vaudeville stage by centuries. In fact, the artistry of illusion is as old as recorded history itself and its roots can be found as far back as the Egyptian Pharaohs. There have been written transcripts found on papyrus and even in the Bible, reporting the presence of magicians performing in the streets and marketplaces of ancient Greece and Rome and even as ancient art forms that can be traced back to the Chinese Han Dynasty (206 BC ˆ 24 AD). From China and their early mastery of the magic mirror to India's famous rope tricks, as well as the courtrooms of the Kings and Queens of Europe, magic has fascinated the public. Some say that magic is the most universal of the performing arts, as it translates so easily from one culture to another.
Mr. Larsen and Magic Castles Inc., have recently announced a finalized Global Brand licensing agreement with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), to create opportunities for the Magic Castle across all areas including television, film, live events, video games, digital media, and merchandising, among others. Also in the works, a feature film based on The Magic Castle is currently in development from veteran movie producer, Ted Field, and his company, Radar Pictures, under the direction of internationally known director, McG.
Historically speaking, the Victorian Mansion (now known as the Castle) was finished in Jan of 1909, 100 years ago. The Castle itself was opened 50 years ago in January 1963, and continues to pack crowds into their multiple theatres. Among its extensive list of celebrity members and magicians that consider the club a favorite escape has and does included: Johnny Carson, Jimmy Stewart, Jason Alexander, Johnny Depp, and thats just the J's. Of course, the biggest names in theatrical magic have also either appeared at the Castle and/or in the "It's Magic" productions over the years including: Penn & Teller, Lance Burton, Sigfried and Roy, Doug Henning, David Cooperfield and many more.