Magician & actor Albie Selznick

Photo by Courtnay Robbins Bragagnolo

Best Magic Show 
Santa Monica’s Albie Selznick spreads the gospel of illusion

by Evan Henerson for The Argonaut

Your kid has been pestering you for more ever since that birthday party when the guy sawed a lady in half and made live rabbits jump out of her stomach. But you have no connections with anybody at the members-only club of clubs, The Magic Castle, and you don’t have the scratch for a trip to Vegas. The YouTube segments and TV shows are getting played out. You want magic, and you want it live.

Not only does longtime actor-magician Albie Selznick feel your void, he’s figured out a way to fill it: by giving a bunch of his magical friends a place to work their best routines and try out some new illusions.

Starting May 2, a rotating lineup of more than 20 illusionists will take the stage at the Santa Monica Playhouse for the second incarnation of Magic Monday. Selznick and producer Michelle Grant have booked eight May and June dates hoping that the variety act will blossom into a long-running engagement featuring a new set of magicians for each date...

Magic Monday Returns This May at the Santa Monica Playhouse

by BWW News Desk for Broadway World Los Angeles

Experience the thrill of magic and spellbinding illusions with a rotating cast of master magicians every week in the Magic Monday cabaret at the Santa Monica Playhouse from May 2 through June 27.

Created by the same team and star Albie Selznick of the theatrical smash hit, Smoke and Mirrors, this weekly variety show is unlike any other in Los Angeles in its accessibility and entertainment value. All are welcome to witness the greatest in prestidigitation, the latest mind-blowing acts and unbelievable feats in an intimate setting that brings magic up close and personal with a rotating roster of renowned magicians that have been seen in TV and popular venues worldwide.

Coming off the successful Magic Monday shows at the Odyssey Theatre last year, this highly anticipated series returns at the Santa Monica Playhouse for eight performances. Every show introduces a new lineup of world renowned magicians, making each show a unique night of magical entertainment...

Do You Believe in Magic?

by Jack Neworth for Santa Monica Daily Press

It’s no secret that Congress has been so polarized for the past six years, they get nothing done. (Other than raising campaign money.)  In fact, only 10% of the country has a positive view of Congress. To put that number in perspective, it’s half of those who think that Elvis is still alive.

So, year after year, we get no legislation on immigration, climate change or judicial reform. To get Congress to agree on anything would require nothing short of a feat of magic. Which is exactly what happened. I say that, because, on March 14, the House of Representatives passed HR 642 which stated, “Recognizing magic as a rare and valuable art form and national treasure, and whereas magic enables people to experience the impossible, Congress supports efforts to make certain that magic is preserved, understood, and promulgated.”

If you’re wondering where I’m going, I shall meander no longer. May 2, at the iconic Santa Monica Playhouse, some of the world’s finest magicians will begin an eight-week run of Magic Monday, cabaret-style magic...

Imaginary childhood companion Trix helps Albie escape his fear box

Photo by Michelle Grant

Review: Big Transformation Act in Magic Show 'Smoke and Mirrors'
Critics Choice

by Philip Brandes for Los Angeles Times

What are you most afraid of? Posing that question directly to the audience at the outset of his “Smoke and Mirrors” theatrical magic show at the Promenade Playhouse in Santa Monica, Albie Selznick establishes the evening’s unifying theme: overcoming fear as a motivator for extraordinary achievement.

As an actor-magician, Selznick sports fine credentials in both domains — he’s a company member of NoHo’s the Road Theatre (which co-produced this show) and a lifetime member of the Magic Castle in Hollywood — although it’s predominantly his experiences in the latter capacity that propel this 90-minute semi-autobiographical narrative threading feats of illusion and legerdemain.

Without unduly compromising the element of surprise, suffice it to say up front that the magic tricks — whether transforming objects, levitation or demonstrating telepathic powers — are first rate...

'Smoke and Mirrors' creator has magic touch

by Evan Henerson for Jewish Journal

The day may arrive when writer-actor Albie Selznick declares his magic-infused theatrical performance "Smoke and Mirrors" a finished product, but audiences probably shouldn't hold their breath. Given that Selznick is a self-described perfectionist and workaholic — and because there are always new illusions to learn — "Smoke and Mirrors" could continue to evolve as long as its creator is willing to tinker. 

"It has been a constant rewriting, working, rewriting, working,” he said. “It’s just never good enough. I keep seeing ways it could be better. But I feel like this is the closest it has ever been to being as good as it can be."

Imperfect or otherwise, the autobiographical show has been embraced by audiences and critics alike, earning Critic’s Choice laurels from the Los Angeles Times and L.A. Weekly...

A Very Merry Magic Mania Review

by Joan Alperin (Stage and Cinema)

I can’t think of more entertaining way to spend the holidays then to see A Very Merry Magic Mania at the Santa Monica Playhouse. This intimate showcase of the best magicians around was created by Albie Selznick, creator of the theatrical smash hit, Smoke and Mirrors. Albie, who hosts as well, is an actor, magician extraordinaire, and lifetime member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood. His regular show, Magic Monday, is on hiatus until April 1, 2020, and you only have until December 29 to catch these acts, so put on those stockings — even if they’re stuffed with rabbits — and put some magic in your holidays.

A Very Merry Magic Mania

by Pauline Adamek (Arts Beat LA)

Magic is the hottest it’s ever been right now. What A Very Merry Magic Mania offers is the opportunity to see multiple world-class magicians in an intimate venue without the hassle of visiting the Magic Castle.  

The magic continues at the Santa Monica Playhouse as the smash hit Magic Mondays series extends through the holiday season as A Very Merry Magic Mania. Hosted by lifetime member of the Magic Castle and actor Albie Selznick, this magical show presents a new and different lineup of world-class, award-winning magicians and outstanding variety acts each week.  Produced by Michelle Grant, ​the show runs about 75 minutes and features an ever-changing lineup of over 70 world-famous magic and variety acts.  It promises to be an unforgettable season of show-stopping feats—including sleight of hand, interactive parlor magic and mind-blowing illusions.

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