Neil Patrick Harris UK Magician Guy Hollingworth in EXPECT AT THE TABLE at The Broad Stage

By: Jun. 22, 2011

Guy Hollingworth, a renowned UK magician, debuted The Expert at the Card Table ten years ago at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival to rave reviews, refined the show over many performances into a spellbinding night of magic and mystery, and now brings it to The Broad Stage under the direction of beloved actor Neil Patrick Harris. Hollingworth, a striking stage presence, with his lanky 6'5" frame and pale, piercing eyes, offers a "fascinating" (The Scotsman) evening of startling true tales of magic, cheating and danger woven together with "jaw-dropping tricks." (Metro UK)

The Expert at the Card Table draws on the controversial book of the same name, written in 1902, which revealed the intimate secrets of magicians and card cheats, and created a long lasting mystery about who would have the knowledge, expertise and desire to expose the underground techniques of those masters of deceit. Half a century later, research uncovered a story far more dramatic than anyone had imagined - a twisting tale full of murder, suicide, deception and death.

Hollingworth's dramatic rendering of the fascinating true story behind The Expert at the Card Table charts the rise and terrible fall of two young devotees of cards, and offers masterful demonstrations of sleight of hand tricks which have dazzled audiences and baffled gamblers for over a century. From the glamour of stage magic to the gritty danger of life as a card cheat, Hollingworth takes his audiences on a thrilling journey through the underground world of performers and gamblers, spiced with astonishing illustrations of the amazing things that can happen between two skilled hands and a deck of cards.

Hollingworth is renowned for award-winning sleight of hand magic combining a reverence for traditional techniques with inventive and original illusions that have mystified both the public and fellow magicians. Hollingworth became interested in magic at the age of 13, joining The Prestige Society, the magic club at St. Paul's School in London, after seeing Channing Pollock and Ricky Jay (a magician-actor known for his skill with cards and his collaborations with David Mamet) perform on TV. He has honed his craft in performances around the world, and is thrilled to be working with Neil Patrick Harris to bring The Expert at the Card Table to The Broad Stage.

Neil Patrick Harris, the director of The Expert at the Card Table - an actor beloved for his roles on Doogie Howser, M.D., How I Met Your Mother and Joss Whedon's musical web series Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog - is a magician himself and brings a practitioner's intimate knowledge to his collaboration with Hollingworth. Harris has twice hosted the Tony Awards, as well as the Emmy Awards, and has also won two Emmy Awards.

About The Broad Stage:

Under the leadership of Director Dale Franzen and Artistic Chair Dustin Hoffman, The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center opened its doors in Santa Monica in October 2008. Inspired by Italian "horseshoe" theaters, yet conceived in an absolutely contemporary vernacular, The Broad Stage is an artist's dream and an audience's delight. Unlike any performance space in the country, it is sublimely intimate with 499-seats and strikingly grand at the same time - allowing eye contact with artists from the boxes to the back row -forging a new kind of artist and audience experience in Los Angeles. Theater, dance, film, operas, musicals, symphony and chamber orchestras will be presented on one of the city's largest proscenium stages. Designed without compromise to embrace the artistic process from inspiration to opening night, and conceived as a global theater and community hub. In addition to The Broad Stage, The Edye Second Space, a smaller black box theater, presents new, developing and innovative work in theater, music and dance as part of the Under the Radar Series. Featuring younger, innovative artists and chamber pieces and plays, programming at The Edye is intentionally spontaneous, reflecting the dynamic nature of the space and allowing the latest, most exciting artists to be booked on short notice. The Under the Radar Series is only $20. Visit The Broad Stage online at

Tickets: Range from $35 - $85, available online at, 310.434.3200. Parking is free.