by Jim Windolf
Anyone with a handheld device is a magician of sorts. So how to explain the resurgence of old-fashioned magic in popular culture? Why are people falling for a brand of entertainment that seemed at its height a hundred years ago, when Harry Houdini was all the rage? Haven’t we moved beyond that?
Apparently not. In a private suite at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria, Steve Cohen, known as the “Millionaires’ Magician,” presents a stately 90-minute illusionfest, Chamber Magic, five times a week. Last year he became the first magician in nearly four decades to appear at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, and his refined act has impressed guests at the homes of Barry Diller, Martha Stewart and Warren Buffett, among others. And maybe that’s the role of magic these days – to provide a dash of wonderment for those who have seen it all.