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Review: The Magic Castle

Hollywood's Magic Castle showcases the world's best magicians

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Review: The Magic Castle

If the world of magic has a center, it lies in a classy Victorian mansion in Hollywood that's known internationally as The Magic Castle. The Castle is many things: a showcase for the world's best magicians, headquarters for the Academy of Magical Arts and an exclusive club for magicians and fans of magic.

To visit the Castle, you must know a current member who can give you a guest pass, which gets you into the doors. Once you're in, you experience dinner and a full evening of magic that's presented in three different theaters and can consist of up to seven amazing acts.

Magic in the Air
The Magic Castle itself is an elegant old house with a mysterious air. The labyrinth of hallways may bring to mind a graceful Winchester mansion, and the tradition of magic is everywhere. In one room, Irma, an invisible, ghostly piano player will play almost any tune you can think of, and answers your questions in humorous song. Also part museum, The Castle features areas that honor magic's best, including Blackstone and Dai Vernon, and there are magic and show biz relics on display.

You can see stage acts in the Palace of Mystery. Here, on any given night, you're bound to see a conjurer with birds, and two other magicians performing either a stand-up act or working with large-scale illusions. The Parlor of Prestidigitation offers stand-up magic, with two separate acts a night. Magicians here perform miracles with ropes, cards, rings, and more, and may blow you away with some amazing mind-reading. Finally, there's the intimate close-up gallery, where you can watch the cards, coins, and more as a magician works the table. Acts change weekly, and there are shows seven nights a week. And beyond the theaters, you're likely to catch magicians performing impromptu throughout the Castle.

As the world headquarters for the Academy of Magical Arts, the Magic Castle is an exclusive club for magicians, who audition to become members. For these members, the Castle library houses a comprehensive collection of books, magazines, and writings on the art. The Castle is also a popular place for magicians to simply hang out and swap stories and secrets.

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