It’s no secret that Congress has been so polarized for the past six years, they get nothing done. (Other than raising campaign money.)  In fact, only 10% of the country has a positive view of Congress. To put that number in perspective, it’s half of those who think that Elvis is still alive.

So, year after year, we get no legislation on immigration, climate change or judicial reform. To get Congress to agree on anything would require nothing short of a feat of magic. Which is exactly what happened. I say that, because, on March 14, the House of Representatives passed HR 642 which stated, “Recognizing magic as a rare and valuable art form and national treasure, and whereas magic enables people to experience the impossible, Congress supports efforts to make certain that magic is preserved, understood, and promulgated.”

If you’re wondering where I’m going, I shall meander no longer. May 2, at the iconic Santa Monica Playhouse, some of the world’s finest magicians will begin an eight-week run of Magic Monday, cabaret-style magic.

Every Magic Monday will introduce a rotating lineup of world-renowned magicians, making each show a unique night of magical entertainment. Theater-goers will be dazzled by a variety of acts including show-stopping feats, sleight of hand parlor games, interactive illusions and more.

The series is the brainchild of producer Michelle Grant and Albie Selznick, a lifetime member of the Magic Castle. (And almost a lifetime Santa Monica resident and neighbor of mine.) Albie’s most renowned in Los Angeles for his long-running and highly-acclaimed autobiographical drama Smoke and Mirrors, which was brilliantly interwoven with magic and debuted in 2011 at the Santa Monica Playhouse.

As the host of Magic Monday, Albie begins each show with a trick or two from his legendary magic repertoire. From an ensemble of 25, then he will introduce that evening’s particular cast, who will perform one mesmerizing act after another. ( Albie’s the Ed Sullivan of magic, if Ed had been charming and talented.)

The intimate 80-seat Santa Monica Playhouse allows for an up-close and personal experience that will leave audiences feeling as though they are part of the action. Family friendly, Magic Monday appeals to all ages and the $25 ticket price is one of the great bargains on the Westside.

In our interview, Albie commented on the metamorphosis of Magic Monday, “

“All our performers are doing TV shows like Penn and Teller’s “Fool Us,” ‘America’s Got Talent,’ ‘Don’t Blink’ and ‘Wizard Wars but there’s so few places to see it live.’” Grant added, “We’re looking to change that. Our model is comedy clubs only for magic.” The two are hoping Magic Monday will blossom into a long-running engagement featuring a new set of magicians for each date.

The idea makes total sense to the magicians because so many of these amazingly talented folks live on the Westside. It also makes total sense for Santa Monica audiences craving to see magic performed live. The Playhouse is close, charming and reasonably priced, i.e. you don’t need a 2nd mortgage to afford tickets. Plus, staged in such an intimate setting,  performances will be all the more memorable. And you can forget the formal garb. (We live at the beach!)

For some, Monday may be an unconventional night to hit the town, round up the kiddies or book a date night. But Selznick and Grant theorize a full evening of magic on stage and during a pre-show, will make for a spectacular way to start the week.

Speaking of Congress, if they don’t start doing their job, there’s one trick I’d like to see Magic Monday performers pull off. Make them disappear! (Even before November.) Short of that, if you love high-quality prestidigitation (magic) head over to the Santa Monica Playhouse.

For tickets go to,  or call (310) 450-2849. Jack is at