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Posts tagged ‘Chamber Magic’

23
Sep

Stage Rush TV: Episode 78

Talking points:

What do you think, Rushers? Did Steve Cohen’s magic trick blow your mind as much as it did mine? What is your no. 1 reason to see Follies? Make sure you enter to win a pair of tickets to see Relatively Speaking and leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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20
Sep

The suite magic of Steve Cohen

steve cohen magic magician chamber waldorf astoria hotel

Photo: Clay Patrick McBride

Most people want to separate their work environment from their home, but most people are not Steve Cohen. Cohen, his wife, and two children live in the Waldorf Towers in the same suite where he works, inviting over 200 strangers in every weekend. Cohen is known as the Millionaires’ Magician, and he performs his acclaimed show, Chamber Magic, five times a weekend in his residential suite. Yet Cohen’s is drastically different from the popular magic acts found in Las Vegas; he performs in front of no more than 50 people at a time, with close-up tricks steeped in Vaudeville culture.

And he’s made it into a multi-million-dollar business.

Cohen looks the part of a Waldorf resident. Dressed in tails with a yellow vest and thick-knotted necktie, Cohen, 40, not only appears dapper, but as if he’s not of this period. Even without him admitting so, it’s clear from his act that he has an affinity for old world style. Audiences of Chamber Magic are required to wear cocktail party attire (don’t even think about wearing jeans). Between the formal dress of the audience and the performer, the elegance of the setting, and Cohen’s charming delivery, Chamber Magic transports to a much older era. Yet Cohen delivers with boyish wonderment in his eyes.

That look is something that has never left him. Cohen began performing magic when he was 6 years old, growing up in Chappaqua, New York. His great uncle was an amateur magician and taught him card and coin tricks. Cohen was hooked. “That’s 34 years of a lot of magic,” Cohen said.

In 2001, Cohen commandeered a friend’s Greenwich Village apartment a few nights a week for one of the first iterations of Chamber Magic. This engagement didn’t last long, however; the friend’s wife got tired of constantly rearranging the furniture for Cohen’s magic shows. So it was off to the National Arts Club in Gramercy Park, where Cohen performed for a few months. It was there that Cohen made connections that lead to the Waldorf and it wasn’t long until he took up his current residency.

Cohen refers to the kind of tricks he performs as “thinking-man’s magic.” “If I’m just doing fancy flourishes and random rolls of coins across my fingers, you enjoy it while you’re watching it, but then it’s over and it doesn’t leave you with any impact,” Cohen said. “My design parameter when creating a magic show is to make magic that lasts in your head longer.”

VIDEO: Steve Cohen talks about wooing his wife with magic, and one of his biggest fans—Stephen Sondheim. Read more »

2
Sep

Stage Rush TV: Episode 77

Talking points:

  • I spend all of Hurricane Irene contemplating the magic tricks of Steve Cohen, the Millionaire’s Magician
  • Casting the Les Miserables movie: Can Hugh, Russell, and Anne cut it?
  • Ticket giveaway: Play It Cool
  • Broadway grosses

What do you think, Rushers? Do you think magic exists? Have you ever seen a truly great magic act? Who would your picks be for the leads in the Les Miserables film? Do you think the rumored cast will do the musical justice? Dream the dream, and while you do, leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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