Wayne N. Kawamoto
When you’re out on LA’s west side, Magicopolis serves-up astounding magic in a classy venue that’s one block from Santa Monica’s popular Third Street Promenade. Now in its 11th year, Magicopolis offers a fantastic stage show that is a deft and entertaining mix of large scale illusions, stand-up effects, comedy and music that will appeal to everyone in the family. There are also close-up shows performed at its new bar.
Running on weekends, “Escape Reality,” the venue’s entertaining stage show, stars owner Steven Spill and Bozena Sparrow, his wife. It’s a two-hour experience – including an intermission -which is a throwback to great magic shows of the past. Spill and Sparrow perform by themselves, as well as together in big scale illusions and humorous comedy sketches.
Spill gets up-close and personal by reading the minds of audience members and borrowing finger rings and linking them. And his bag of tricks includes a harrowing escape from a formidable spiked apparatus. Sparrow draws on her acting prowess (she has appeared in numerous movies and television shows) to bring a theatrical flair to her show segments.
Together, the magical pair induce a sense of wonder and provide comical moments that send spectators into hysterics. You’ll remember the stunning image of Sparrow mysteriously floating above a couch as well as Spill’s hilarious turn in a wedding dress. For magicians and the delight of lay spectators, the husband and wife team perform the best version I have ever seen of Slydini’s classic (I’ll use initials here so I don’t spoil the fun for lay folks) N.O.T.H.
Magicopolis’ roomy theater features comfortable seats that are set on a steep incline. There’s hardly a bad seat in the house, except for the extreme right and left front rows. The steep incline will let a five-year-old sit behind a basketball player and still see all the action–a marvelous venue for magic watching.
The venue has undergone several recent changes. The close-up room has been replaced with a party room that allows groups to cater meals, as well as families to hold birthday parties. Another recent addition is a full bar that has turned the venue into a nightspot and serves as a stage for close-up shows. There’s also a magic store with ongoing demonstrations.
Unless you’re part of a group that has organized an event ahead of time, an afternoon or evening at Magicopolis doesn’t include a meal, but there are snacks and drinks that may be purchased. There’s no dress code and the venue is family friendly.
You can easily make an afternoon out of some shopping and eating at the Promenade, and then cap the day with the wonderful entertainment found at Magicopolis. Or travel to Santa Monica just to see the magic–Steven Spill will make it worth your visit.