Santa Monica resident Albie Selznick in his one-man, one-rabbit play 'Smoke and Mirrors,' which will debut at the Santa Monica Playhouse Oct. 28. (photo by Albie Selznick)

As anyone who has ever lived in a high rise apartment can attest, it’s very different than living in a home or even a small apartment building. As my late mother used to say about everything in life, “It has its plusses and its minuses.”

Among the plusses at the Shores is how many colorful and interesting neighbors we have. Among the minuses is that in a high rise one can go years without knowing a neighbor’s name. After 10 years it can be a little awkward introducing oneself while putting your underwear in the laundry.

At the Shores people come and go so fast lately it almost doesn’t pay to get to know your neighbor. And I hate it when a third person comes up wanting to be introduced and I don’t have a clue as to my neighbor’s name. It’s enough to cause flop sweat.

One of my neighbors whose name I do know (after 23 years I would hope so) is actor, magician Albie Selznick, pictured above. (He’s the one who’s not the bunny.)

I first met Albie in the pool as both of us swam laps for exercise. I thought Albie was a tad eccentric because he swam with a snorkel and a wet suit. I immediately thought of Lloyd Bridges (Jeff’s late father) and the 1950s TV show “Sea Hunt,” a reference which seriously dates me.

I learned that Albie uses the snorkel so as not to aggravate a sore neck and he uses the wet suit because he swims in the rain and cold. (He also uses a waterproof i-Pod, something Lloyd never had.)

As it so happens, Albie is a very accomplished actor, having done hundreds of commercials (236, but who’s counting?) and guest appearances on prime-time TV. He’s such a charming, easy going guy in real life. But leave it to Hollywood to cast him as a psycho.

ON “CSI: Miami,” for example, Albie killed his entire family with a shotgun. (Upon hearing this I told Albie that if there’s ever only one available washing machine in the laundry room, it’s his.)

Albie was also on “Suddenly Susan” for two years as Kathy Griffin’s boyfriend and then husband, Rabbi Ben. (Mass murderer one day, a rabbi the next. Welcome to Hollywood.)

Albie was also was on “The Young and the Restless” as a crusading district attorney. He and his real life bride Laura postponed their honeymoon only to discover the script turned him into a corrupt D.A. who’s sent to jail (giving Albie and Laura time to go to Italy on their honeymoon!)

But Albie’s biggest theatrical love has always been magic, something he started when he was a young boy. Decades later he’s written and is about to star in his first one man show, “Smoke and Mirrors” at the historic Santa Monica Playhouse starting tomorrow!

“Smoke and Mirrors” is a magic show but with a story that has humor and heart. Albie, with the help of his best friend Trixie (a life-sized rabbit) and The Oracle (a giant head), takes the audience on his journey to heal the loss of his father, bond with Houdini, and become a “master illusionist.”

As Albie puts it, “‘Smoke and Mirrors’ is about facing your fears, with lots of magic!” Perfectly scary for Halloween, it opens Oct. 29 for six weeks until Dec. 11 with two shows on Saturday (7 p.m. and 10 p.m.) and one on Sunday (7 p.m.). For tickets, go to or call (800) 595-4tix. “Smoke and Mirrors” is great fun and a little scary and, as Albie says, “Is appropriate for humans 12 and up.”

Personally, I find Albie’s show terrifically entertaining. With all due respect to my late mother, I only see plusses.

For more info, go to or call (310) 450-2849. Daily Press readers can use the discount code “magic” and get $10 off.

Jack can be reached at

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