Thursday, March 7, 2013

There's Magic in the Air at the SoHo Playhouse!

For the past eight years, world premiere sleight-of-hand artist, Simon Lovell, has been winning over audiences at the SoHo Playhouse with New York City's longest running one-man show, "Simon Lovell's Strange and Unusual Hobbies". Author of at least sixteen books, esteemed recipient of the 2009 Merlin Award (like an "Oscar," "Tony" or "Emmy" for Magicians), and self-proclaimed con-artist, Lovell is also known for acting, writing and consulting on TV shows and movies, such as USA Network's "White Collar".

Lovell, who learned his first magic trick when he was four years old, amazes with impossible card tricks and other close-up magic, and his witty British charm adds a special flair to his "shindigs" at the Playhouse. He has mastered a one-handed shuffle and four-way card cut, and impresses when he asks six different audience members to secretly chose cards from his deck, building suspense as he finds each and every card after it has been mixed back in. He may even teach you ways to cheat your friends and become a "grifter" (aka con-person) yourself!

Perhaps the most intriguing part of Lovell's show is the sassy way in which he performs his tricks, encouraging audience participation and essentially posing many of his "tricks" like riddles -- you'll have that "aha" moment when he's done, but you never saw it coming. Though the "Strange and Unusual Hobbies" show typically runs 70 minutes, don't expect to be bombarded by magic the entire time, as much of the show comes down to outrageous props and perfect comedic timing.

Lovell's show takes places in a sleek downstairs lounge at the Playhouse, The Huron Club, offering a full bar and seating for about 40 people. Despite playing every Saturday night at 6:00 p.m., the show consistently sells out, so purchase tickets in advance, and get there early to ensure a seat right up front, where Lovell will be most likely to force you to interact with him during the show.

You can read more about the mysterious history of Simon Lovell here. If you happen to be a budding magician yourself, you may want to consider inquiring about Lovell's lectures for performers.

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