by Craig Stull, Phil Myers & David Meerman Scott (John Wiley & Sons, 2008) [chapter excerpt:] What’s Your Powerful Idea? Steve Cohen grew up in affluent Westchester County, where he learned magic from his great-uncle. As Cohen was getting started in the world of professional magic, he lamented that people treated all magicians as interchangable […]Read the full post »
Judging from emails I’ve received, some patrons have misread my recent announcement about Chamber Magic’s future. The show is moving, not closing! To provide clarity, here are some bullet points of my upcoming transition. • I have been playing at the Waldorf Astoria New York for 16 years. Over 500,000 guests have visited the show. • Chamber Magic is […]Read the full post »
Now you see him A view of the Waldorf Astoria’s transformation as seen through the eyes of its resident magician by ISABEL SCHWAB On a recent Saturday night at the Waldorf Astoria, a crowd of dressed-up New Yorkers and tourists watch in amazement as a man attempts increasingly daring tricks. From a single teapot, magician […]Read the full post »
It has been a pleasure to perform Chamber Magic at New York’s legendary Waldorf Astoria New York for the past 16 years. The show started on a dream and a shoestring budget, and it’s now ranked as the 9th most popular theatrical event in New York City on TripAdvisor. I’ve entertained more than 500,000 people in the Waldorf, including billionaires, celebrities, royalty, and heads of state.
As you may have read in the media, the hotel will undergo a massive renovation starting in the spring.
As a result, there are only six months remaining to see Chamber Magic at its original venue, the spectacular Waldorf Astoria.
Book your tickets now to see the show at the hotel where it became famous! I will perform the last show at the Waldorf on February 25, 2017.Read the full post »
Our 2015 tickets are almost completely sold-out!
Due to popular demand, we have added two additional Chamber Magic performances at the Waldorf Astoria New York on Sunday, December 27.
These additional Sunday performances on Christmas weekend offer an additional date for you to share some holiday magic with your loved ones.
December 27 (Sunday) at 2:00pm
December 27 (Sunday) at 7:00pm
Check availability and book your tickets online
We look forward to welcoming you to the magnificent Towers of the Waldorf Astoria!Read the full post »
“Chamber Magic” is now ranked #8 (of 357) of all theater shows in New York City, on TripAdvisor. When I started “Chamber Magic” 15 years ago, my goal was to help raise public respect toward magic as a performing art. I wanted people to consider going to a magic show instead of the opera, or […]Read the full post »
Posted on December 4, 2012 by Megan Hess
A cluster of of well-to-do couples huddle in the lobby of the Waldorf Towers in New York City, buzzing with anticipation. At the stroke of 8:45 p.m. on Saturday evening, a tall man in a tailored suit ushers everyone into a gold-plated elevator – the same one that the President of the United States rides when he stays in New York. Primping and fidgeting, the group lines up at a suite at the end of a hallway on the 35th floor. 58 people file in for tonight’s magic show in Steve Cohen’s living room, run solely by word-of-mouth.
Cohen’s “Chamber Magic” shows inspire an intimate, old-timey parlor feel. Attendees, many of whom have purchased tickets months in advance, are expected to dress well. He doesn’t bother with hats, rabbits, or sleight-of-hand tricks; instead, he uses one gleaming tea kettle to produce five different drinks at the audience’s request.
At age 10, Cohen worked the elementary school circuit, appearing at kids’ birthday parties and Cub Scout meetings. Now, he brings in about 300 viewers each weekend – including high-profile guests like Martha Stewart, Barry Diller, and David Rockefeller – and a seven-figure annual income. “I put people in an environment where anything can happen,” Cohen says, pausing to sip Kombucha tea (the ginger helps his throat). “People start thinking, Maybe there’s another force in the world, and this guy has control over it.”Read the full post »
For over one hundred twenty years, Carnegie Hall has been a world-famous venue for music, but not magic. It was an honor, then — a once-in-a-lifetime achievement — to be able to perform my full evening magic show there on January 12, 2012. The show ran two hours, and received a standing ovation from the sold-out auditorium.
I’d like to thank all of you who came to the show. I’ll always remember the electric anticipation you projected as I walked on-stage. Looking out at you, I felt anticipation too — like we were creating a historic moment together.
Throughout my career I’ve always believed that magic has the potential to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other performing arts, such as ballet, opera and orchestral music. Magic can be more, much more, than a simple diversion. The artistry required to construct and stage a theatrical magic show is on par with the training, thought and creativity required to present other traditional art forms.
My personal goal in staging a magic show at Carnegie Hall was to prove that the art of magic is capable of accepting its due respect, if only we give it the chance. It was immensely satisfying to see that the public supported this belief; the entire theater was sold-out months in advance.
Because I am used to performing for small audiences of 50 people at the Waldorf-Astoria, the nearly 300-seat Weill Recital Hall presented some challenges. I did my best to cross the footlights and reach out to the entire audience, even up to the balcony.
In this blog, I’ve composed a full report of the evening, from my perspective as performer and producer […]Read the full post »
How Steve Cohen Got To Carnegie Hall
by Antonio M. Cabral
M-U-M magazine, November 2011
Magicians and secrets have a funny relationship. The normal people who comprise our audiences watch us perform miracles and cannot begin to imagine how a person might learn the requisite techniques and other arcane knowledge to accomplish the impossible. Magicians on the other hand know all about the vast oceans of literature (in print and on film) obsessively detailing and documenting the history and lineage of all these bizarre, clever and wonderful ideas. They know you can walk into a magic shop and buy whatever you like without having to fight a dragon or some other kind of mystic wizard’s trial. They worry that their audiences will run home after watching a performance and look for the explanations on YouTube. The “secrets” are out there, if you care enough and know where to look. And yet, magicians and laymen can look at the same “miracle” and both be mystified—if for different reasons.
For example, many close-up magicians know the story of Max Malini’s famous production of a brick or a block of ice from under a hat as recounted by Dai Vernon in Stars of Magic. Vernon was tasked with watching Malini over the course of an evening’s dinner performance to try to pin down the little man’s sleight-of-hand secrets—in particular the the block-of-ice-under-the-hat trick. Throughout the full evening’s meal, Malini never left the table. Malini then proceeded to perform the trick and “…when Malini lifted the hat, a block of ice the size of four fists lay in the center of the table […] Vernon swears to this day that ‘The little bugger had no time to load up.’” While the regular audience members wondered how the ice got under the hat, Vernon was dumbfounded as to how the ice got to the table at all. A bribe to the waiter proved unsuccessful, and they never found out from where Malini had procured the ice.
On the other hand, whenever Steve Cohen performs the trick as the opener of his exclusive Miracles At Midnight show, the source of the block of ice is somewhat less of a mystery. The show is his second as part of his residence at the über-opulent Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan. The kitchen at the Waldorf-Astoria is located on the second floor and takes up the area of a full city block. “They have a huge walk-in freezer, and they’ve let me have a whole shelf in there just for blocks of ice for this trick. I used to go down myself to fetch the ice, but it gets so cold in that freezer that our arrangement now is that I simply ring down to the kitchen and they run one upstairs for me at the beginning of each show.” Of course. Everything’s easy once you know the secret.
But while Steve’s audiences—like Malini’s—are astounded at the appearance of the ice under the hat, magicians marvel at something else. They don’t marvel at how the ice appeared under the hat or how the ice got to the table, but at how Steve Cohen himself has managed to “magically appear” in residence at the Waldorf-Astoria with not one, but two elegant, high-end magic shows—one of which costs $250 per person. For close-up magic! And coming this January, Steve will be premiering a stage show at a local Manhattan venue named Carnegie Hall. Compared to those “miracles”, blocks of ice and bricks under hats might as well be the old stretching thumb trick your uncle does […]Read the full post »
Before serving dinner at a dinner party in Manhattan, my host asked that I do “a little something” for the guests. I declined politely — I don’t like to perform when I’m not actually working — but when people hear that there’s a magician at the table, they expect to see a trick. These were not children, mind you, but some of the wealthiest and most powerful people in New York.
I turned to the woman next to me and asked for one of her earrings. She was hesitant to remove one of her diamond studs for a magic trick. She thought I might damage it. But when our host nodded his approval, she allowed me to remove it.
“The Flying Earring Trick!” I announced, holding up my hand to silence the guests. The glittering diamond earring rested in my left palm, shining in the light from the chandelier overhead. I slowly closed my hand into a fist, and explained that I would make the earring fly – invisibly! – from one fist into the other. All of the guests looked at me with skepticism as I opened my left fist: empty. They craned their necks in closer. I then opened my right fist: also empty. The lady’s face turned pale.
“If the earring didn’t fly into my other hand, it could only have gone one other place.” I pointed to […]Read the full post »