LA Theater Scene has Play Dead, Parfumerie, and It’s Magic!

Play Dead, deliciously macabre

 With a fiendish grin, Todd Robbins says, “We’re never so alive as when we’re scared to death.” That is a promise of things to come during the Play Dead stageshow at the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater in the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood, California. It is an evening of spine chilling entertainment, a co-creation from the minds of magicians Teller (of Penn & Teller fame), who directs, and Robbins, the main performer who tells scary stories that conjures up the spirits of serial killers and mediums. It is also an interactive magic show and so much more—telling you more would spoil all the fun. Just expect something deliciously macabre and merry, playing now through Dec. 22. Go to www.geffenplayhouse.com.

Parfumerie, romantic comedy

 The romantic comedy Parfumerie is the first theater production for the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. The cast is lead by Richard Schiff (The West Wing), Eddie Kaye Thomas (Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle), Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood) and Arye Gross (Castle, Six Feet Under). Set during Christmastime 1937 in Budapest Hungary, Parfumerie’s charming plot has been adapted to film several times, including The Shop Around the Corner, In the Good Old Summertime, and You’ve Got Mail. Playing for a limited engagement, Nov. 26 to Dec. 22, the production centers on a romance that unfolds through love letters. It is a perfect homage to the historic Beverly Hills Post Office, which has become the Wallis home for the arts. Go to www.thewallis.org.

It’s Magic! all-star magic revue

 Another edition of America’s longest-running all-star magic revue It’s Magic! is coming. The show is presented by Milt Larsen and Terry Hill, and will play the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Saturday, Nov. 30. The live stage show features top professional magicians from all over the world, and it has been delighting generations of fans for more than 50 years. This edition features Christopher Hart, Jay Johnson, Adam Trent, Rick Thomas and a rare performance by Milt Larsen, ready to mesmerize magic enthusiasts of all ages. For It’s Magic! at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza go to www.toaks.org.

 The tradition of an all-star magic show started in 1956 when two young entrepreneurs, Milt Larsen and Oliver Berliner, produced a show called Hocus Pocus in Los Angeles. The following year, the show was renamed It’s Magic! and played the Wilshire Ebell Theater. The success of It’s Magic! proved there was a genuine interest in the ancient art form of magic and sparked the idea of forming a full-time private club for magicians and magic enthusiasts. Thus was born the Magic Castle in Hollywood, founded in 1963 by Milt and his late brother William Larsen, and the Castle is now celebrating its 50th anniversary. Many credit the It’s Magic! show for rekindling the resurgence of the art of magic in America. It’s Magic! will also play the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, California, Feb. 23, with other shows to follow in March and April 2014. Go to www.itsmagicshow.com. #


Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to be half of the husband and wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who have written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 30 years.

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