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JewishJournal.com

April 16, 2008

David the enchanter

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/david_the_enchanter/

David Minkin is the rock star of magic.

I was told that is the epithet given to him by his fellow magicians at the prestigious Magic Castle club in Hollywood. And having just been to his “Evening of Enchantment” at Malibu’s Beau Rivage restaurant, I can say that the title is fitting.

David Minkin, the 2007 International Magic Champion, is loaded with talent, charisma and charm. Women in the audience swooned, fans swarmed him after his wondrous performance and he handled the unusually stressful day with the cool nonchalance of an internationally acclaimed artist. One of David’s non-rock star qualities (I detected several) is his affinity for intimate settings.

While many magicians aspire to theater-sized, marquee-trumpeted shows in Las Vegas, he said during his 45-minute act, he prefers to get closer to his audience.

The “Evening of Enchantment” does exactly that - it brings David and the audience to a level of intimacy that makes the experience more than just an amusing set of magic tricks.

The evening begins long before you pull open the heavy wooden doors of Beau Rivage. Driving along the Malibu coast as the sun is in its last hours begins to set a pleasant, relaxed tone for the night. Dimly lit and decked with flowers and twinkling lights, Beau Rivage is the quintessential romantic Mediterranean restaurant - the perfect setting for magical moments.

Guests, limited to 28, are escorted to the tower room on the second floor, where they are treated to hors d’oeuvres and tastings of award-winning wines from the local Malibu Rosenthal winery.

Having had an hour to schmooze or in my case, reminisce (my high school P.E. teacher was there!), the now chummy crowd descended the candle-lit stairway, wine glasses in hand, to the cozy wine cellar.

And then David appeared. No, not out of thin air. His entrance was more earthly - he walked down the stairs, pulled the curtain aside and began to work his wonders. Slowly, the black-clad magician built a rapport with the already warmed up group. He started with coins and moved on to cards - traditional magician fare - but complimented the tricks with autobiographical snippets and charming banter, which the audience readily threw back.

Then David impressed even a skeptic, took us time-traveling, played a tune on his guitar and finally, led us through the rain. I promised David not to reveal his grand finale - it’s a bit he has been developing for four years and has only performed at the “Evening of Enchantment.”

Whoever came up with the name for the show was spot on.

As I strolled to my car, full of wine and wonder, I felt truly enchanted.

For reservations, call A.J. Steinberg at (310) 795-0269 or visit www.magicandwine.com.

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