I have been involved in the performing arts for basically my entire life, watching and performing in numerous types of shows over the years. I must say I have never had a show experience quite like “Speakeasy Magick” at The McKittrick Hotel.
As soon as you set foot into the building and walk up the dark red staircase to the smoky showroom, a mysterious aura kicks in as you warm up from the cold outside.
You’re brought to a table where you get to enjoy some popcorn and a drink or two from the bar. As everyone settled in, a talented pianist provided musical stylings inspired by Vaudeville, which set the tone for the evening.
Todd Robbins, the show’s emcee, wasted no time to introduce the audience to his humorous hosting approach, with lots of sarcasm and witty jokes about magicians being able to make things “appear and disappear like members of Congress.”
Before the table magic began, magician Matthew Holtzclaw took center stage with an act that was not only astonishing, but a potential fire hazard if not done carefully.
From making cigarettes appear out of thin air to taking puffs from both sides of one, he left the entire audience stunned and exclaiming “How?!”
After that, what Robbins describes as “magic speed dating” took place, in which each magician in the cast took turns going around to every table in the room.
I don’t know what the other tables’ experiences were like, but I believe my table had the perfect lineup. For all the magicians in the program that night, ours started off with more decreased energy in the acts and increased as the night progressed.
Three standouts for my table were Rachel Wax, Matias Letelier and Mark Calabrese.
Wax performed lots of tricks involving different phone charging cords and somehow getting them to change in ways that I didn’t think were possible.
Wax had a very sarcastic approach to her humor, which is definitely not for the faint of heart.
Letelier, originally from Chile, had a suave accent that was enough to keep you engaged, even during card tricks which seemed to be the magicians’ choice for the night.
Letelier’s style incorporated elements of comedy, illusionism and even pick-pocketing.
Our final magician was Mark Calabrese, an Italian-American, rough-around-the-edges type of guy with face tattoos.
Like everyone else in the show, he was hilarious and extremely sarcastic, but something about him stuck out to me, making him my favorite of the evening.
Calabrese did the traditional “guess your card” trick that many magicians are known and loved for, but in a way that left everyone speechless and marveling at his quick wit and skills for the rest of the night.
I would definitely recommend this show to anyone who’s interested in magic, illusions, dark humor or unusual themes overall.
At $160 per ticket, “Speakeasy Magick” is not something you can go to as part of your weekly routine, but it would surely be a nice treat for a special occasion or celebration.
It’s definitely worth it because of the closeness and personal nature that each performer brings to the table in their act.
My advice: go to “Speakeasy Magick” if you’re able, but be sure not to wear anything super important to you!