Jason Alexander at the Magic Castle

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Postby Guest » 04/24/06 08:35 AM

Hi,

I notice that Jason Alexander is appearing this week in the late parlour at the Magic Castle. Just wondering if this is the same Jason Alexander who is the actor from TV, movies, etc. I have noticed that the Jason Alexander most famous from "Sienfeld" has recently been a very active member of the Castle and am wondering if he is now performing ? Thanks for any info.
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Postby Pete Biro » 04/24/06 08:46 AM

Yep, Alexander, late of Seinfeld. I hope to get in to see him this week.
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Postby Guest » 04/24/06 09:20 AM

Thanks Pete. I guess we'll see the old saying of "an actor playing the part of a magician" come to life.
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Postby Guest » 04/25/06 06:06 AM

He must be doing it because he needs the money! ;)
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Postby Guest » 04/25/06 09:07 AM

Anybody have the chance to see him last night? Any reviews out there?
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Postby Guest » 04/25/06 12:21 PM

The Castle had a buy out last night, so tonight will be the first chance most of us will have to see Jason work.
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Postby Guest » 04/26/06 11:07 AM

Any reviews out there?
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Postby Guest » 04/26/06 02:09 PM

From what i have heard, he is doing a very good job. He is doing a mental act I'm told. I'm heading up tonight. I hear that the lines are VERY long to get in. A 2 hour wait was the norm last night. There were 60 people in line last night at 6:00 pm and his first show didn't start until 7:30 (the room holds about 55 people)
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Postby Guest » 04/26/06 02:11 PM

Originally posted by Peter Hannon:
He must be doing it because he needs the money! ;)
Not sure what he will do wih the whole $900 he'll make this week
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Postby Guest » 04/26/06 09:31 PM

He's going to DISNEYLAND!
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Postby Guest » 04/26/06 10:30 PM

Got to the Castle at 8:40 tonight, Wednesday night, and was turned away because the Castle was full. First time that's happened to me in 5-odd years of frequent visits.
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Postby Steve Bryant » 04/27/06 08:30 AM

"What could be more absurd than a card trick on the radio?"

That was the opening line of Jason Alexander's appearance on the AMC program Remember WENN, in which, as a Max Maven-ish mentalist called the astonishing Ballinger, he performed "a card trick minus the cards, dealt from a deck that rests on a cool marble table in the green velvet study of your imagination." Wow. It was a great role (and not a bad card trick!) on a tv show I miss.

I'm jealous of you guys, if any of you makes it into the show.
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Postby Guest » 04/27/06 09:34 AM

Originally posted by Pete McCabe:
Got to the Castle at 8:40 tonight, Wednesday night, and was turned away because the Castle was full. First time that's happened to me in 5-odd years of frequent visits.
I got to the Castle at 6:00 and the line of cars was down the street trying to get in. By 7:00 or so the parking lot was full and by 7:30 anyone without a dinner reservation was being turned away as the place was at it's limit. But what a night! I have to say that Jason's parlor act was on of the best acts I have seen. It was polished, funny and magical. Jason did a mentalism act, but the whole time he would tell the audience that he could not read minds, but that he had studied pattens in the way people make decisions. (as he told me before the show, is anyone going to believe that George Costanza could read anyone's mind?) After he finished, he took time to greet each person that came up to him. Most people had to wait up to 2+ hours in line to get in the show room, but it was worth it. Also my hat is off to the Staff of the castle, they were doing everything they could to make things go as smooth as possible. Extra staff on duty, extra magicians to entertain the folks waiting or those that couldn't get in. All that plus Doc Eason at the WC Fields Bar. A great night of magic
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Postby Guest » 04/28/06 11:37 AM

Here's my review:

I, like everyone else, waited two hours to see the show. When they finally opened the doors i noticed that the first three rows were already filled with all of Jason's guests. So even if you get there early like i did, you arent going to get a great seat.

I will start by saying his audience managment was great, to be expected since he is a performer anyways. His first effect was good and very funny, i thought this was an indication of a good show. I however, was dissapointed. His show lacked excitement, his tricks were too long for the minimal effect they gave. You spent minute after minute waiting for something to happen. To put it into context, it would be like doing a 7 minute presentation for a simple color change. The effect is pretty good, but by the time the effect gets there, your just glad its over.

In short, it isnt worth the 2 hour wait in line. It was too long and too boring of a show.
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Postby Guest » 04/28/06 01:32 PM

Maybe I won't stand in line.
Cuz they think they're so Hip!
Those magicians and their complicated shoes.

Actually, I'm looking forward to the show disirrigardless. There must be a lot to learn from someone with his vast experience in front of a camera and in theatre.
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 04/28/06 01:46 PM

Did you hear that rumor that I'm starting right now that Jerry is Jason's opening act? I hear he does a great trick where he makes a coin disappear and then tells everyone in the audience that they're jerks...

:)

-Jim
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Postby Pete Biro » 04/28/06 02:33 PM

Sad part was Carl Ballantine couldn't get in to see his show after waiting several hours.
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Postby Guest » 04/28/06 02:46 PM

There was a similar buzz at the Castle the first time Brad Henderson appeared there.
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Postby Guest » 04/28/06 03:37 PM

Originally posted by Jim Maloney:
Did you hear that rumor that I'm starting right now -Jim
Nice! :)
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Postby Brad Henderson » 04/28/06 04:10 PM

I had guests attend last night and they loved it.

As for buzz when I first performed there, you've got to be kidding? Thankfully there was no buzz, no one had any idea who I was, and there were maybe 15 people in the crowd. My first set was a train wreck. But things got better as I found my legs. By the end of the week, it had become a rewarding and learning experience.

I would consider myself honored to think people would wait in line for more than an hour to see me. I would question their judgement, but I would be honored.

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Postby Glenn Farrington » 04/28/06 05:06 PM

Originally posted by Brad Henderson:
I would question their judgement, but I would be honored.

Brad
I wouldn't. You do an amazing job!
Comedy's Easy...Dying Sucks.
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Postby Guest » 04/28/06 05:15 PM

So how about that Jason Alexander eh? :)
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Postby Pete Biro » 04/28/06 06:31 PM

What about him? I have heard "mixed" reviews.
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Postby Guest » 04/29/06 08:38 PM

Hi everyone,

I got a chance to see Jason Alexander's Friday, 7:30 Parlor show. I enjoyed it thoroughly! His performing persona was friendly and engaging. The concept/theme of his act was evocative and interesting. His rapport with his audience was great.

The excitement created by his appearance filled the Magic Castle. It was great to see celebrities like Steve Valentine, Julia Louise Dreyfuss, and Nichelle Nichols.

As I said, I enjoyed the performance. He did a great job.

Respectful regards,

Paul (I waited in line) Green :D :D :D
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Postby Jon Allen » 04/30/06 12:08 PM

Originally posted by rage1:
His first effect was good and very funny, i thought this was an indication of a good show. I [/QB]
I heard that this is The Silent Treatment. Whatever you think of the guy, he *does* have a great choice in openers :-)

I do think it's a good move to open with something silent. Everybody knows his on screen persona and I understand it is quite different on stage. To come out and go straight into a patter routine would cause the audience to have to adjust to him. His opener allows him to establish his style and 'credentials' before having to say anything.
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Postby Guest » 04/30/06 01:19 PM

Jason is FANTASTIC in the Parlour. I've seen the show twice. I've spoken to literally dozens of people and have not encountered one person who did not love it.

Last night Brian Gillis told me it was one of the best shows he's ever seen in the Parlour, and Max Maven said he was "terrific".

I can't believe Pete has heard "mixed" reviews.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/30/06 02:56 PM

Hey John, you left out the part about how you scooped us and got a piece on it for MAGIC's July issue. :)
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Postby Guest » 04/30/06 03:31 PM

I thought it would have been impolite to mention that on your forum. And actually, the interview/article with Jason has been in the works for a couple months (long before anyone knew he'd be performing at the Castle). Just a happy coincidence it happened.

But that doesn't mean my assessment of him is biased. The reason I wanted to write the article in the first place is that I'd seen him perform magic two times previously in the last few years, and he's GOOD.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 04/30/06 05:34 PM

I am going to second John Scoop Lovicks sentiments about Mr. Alexanders act. Sure, the effects are standard pieces, but he executes them very well; the script is truly exceptional; and it is wonderfully delivered. I had four guests last night, all laymen and they loved it. (And the $100 bill volunteer was one of my guests. He gave me the signed 5 Euro bill he received from Mr. Alexander: A nice little addition to the Stinett Collection!)

I would also like to express my sincere thanks to the Castle staffKurt, Kate, and Martywho made the long wait very comfortable. They did not allow the area directly in front of the Parlour to become crammed with people (which is what I feared would happen). They filled up the seats and then a handful of folks were allowed to stand; the rest waited in a queue along the wall across form the Palace bar. And I might add that the Pinot Noir was wonderful (though I wish they would serve a Syrah by the glass) as were the sirloin tips! Mmmmmm. My only suggestion: Make the loop playing on the close-circuit television longer, or change whats playing. I love watching Snoopy do his act, but I lost count of how many times I saw it!

Dustin

PS: The rest of the night was great: Dinner was really excellent. We saw Doc Eason in the WC Fields Bar and Whit Haydn in the Museum. Good stuff!
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Postby Guest » 04/30/06 07:55 PM

Dustin,
Were you there for Whit's last show? There was someone in the front row with a metal case full of cards and I was wondering if it was you.

If so, thanks for requesting the Shell Game. I missed it in his earlier show.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 04/30/06 08:07 PM

Nope, not me. I was at the last show, but standing in the back. (And you will never see me carrying a suitcase-o-cards!)
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Postby Pete Biro » 04/30/06 09:41 PM

Lovick, sir... I had heard two guys that thought the magic content was weak. On reflection, I feel the fact that they were probably magiclumpen, I should have discounted there opinions.
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Postby Guest » 05/01/06 09:03 AM

Pete, you know I love you, but whoever said anything "mixed" about Jason's act is jealous or insane. I got back from FFFF yesterday with zero sleep and dragged my long-suffering wife to The Castle to see Jason (I'd never seen him do magic).

He was EXCEPTIONAL. Were he an unknown, simply a guy doing a mentalism act, I'd feel the same way. It's very hard to make mentalism entertaining and/or believable, but Jason absolutely did the work. His act flowed, the effects were well-defined, and the writing was top tier. Needless to say, he was also charismatic, funny and engaging. He closed with Mental Epic, a "standard trick", but I've never seen a person pace the effect so craftily or wring so much impact from it.

I've written for many shows, and over the years I've fashioned a truism about show business:

Talent Helps.
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Postby Doug Brewer » 05/01/06 09:10 AM

I thought the show was great. Silent Treatment was his opener and I thought he performed it excellently (this is not an easy trick to do well) - and yes, Mr. Allen, it worked perfect to warm us up to him. I was actually picked for the medallion trick he performed next and I thought that was a great choice too (the trick, not me).

The show showcased his talent, which is "acting" and his oration skills. He is definitely a master at this, and as a magician, he is very, very good. I think what it demonstrated was that, in the end, a good show is always about the performer, and how that performer connects to his audience. The tricks/effects are important, but it's the magician that should be the imprint on the memory after.

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it really created a "buzz" at the Castle that I haven't felt in years.
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Postby Pete Biro » 05/01/06 09:53 AM

Regal... you hit it... TALENT HELPS. It, and Charisma will beat skill every time.
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Postby Guest » 05/01/06 10:58 AM

Jason brought to life what in other hands would have been just "tricks."
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Postby Guest » 05/01/06 12:02 PM

Jason has talent AND skill.
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Postby Guest » 05/07/06 04:13 PM

Saw the show -- absolutely loved it. Jason's now a bona fide Professional Magician in the best sense, not just an actor playing one.

Superb!
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