Within seconds of entering the hip and trendy McKittrick Hotel, one gets the feeling that the ghost of a dead relative or a horrible school teacher from the past will emerge. The cavernous space on West 27th street hearkens to a gilded age reserved only for the poshest and most sophisticated clientele. At the same time, it invokes an eerie, yet alluring quality that can only be experienced to be truly understood.
In recent years, the storied venue has played host to a long-running play (Sleep No More), a full-service restaurant/bar and several theatrical events.
Currently, visitors can be astonished by At The Illusionist’s Table in the hotel’s Heath room. At each performance, 28 strangers meet around a large table where they are greeted by the evening’s host, Scott Silven. Silven is a young, eloquent, Scottish gentleman who regales his guests with tales of his homeland. As a young boy, he learned magic from his grandfather. As a grown man, he now shares that education with his audience. He was obviously an excellent student.
Mental games are played and there are congenial exchanges between Silven and his guests. For those worried about audience participation…fear not. The interaction is minimal and is always respectful. Other tricks ensue, but it would spoil the fun to divulge too much.
To classify this merely as a magic show or dinner theater is to minimize the production value. While it is a combination of both, At The Illusionist’s Table is elevated by elegance, sheer mind power, profound philosophical insight–and quality food.
A three course meal accompanies the evening, along with whisky tastings–all of which are a significant component to Silven’s gathering. Silven not only amazes guests by his wizardry, he forces us to engage all of our senses. In that way, we can briefly pause to enjoy conversation and food with new friends. In an era where hand held devices fill the quiet spaces of dinner parties and our own minds, this is, in itself, an impressive feat.
Guests can enjoy cocktails prior to dinner at a cozy bar, directly across the hall from the Heath before sitting down to the 2 1/2 hour event. Silven’s show has sold out around the world and this marks his NYC premiere. Though some might bristle at the hefty price tag of $190-$225 ticket, there is quite a bit of bang for the buck. Besides, orchestra seats to a Broadway show aren’t much cheaper -and this includes a lovely meal.
There really is nothing else quite like it in town.
At The Illusionist’s Table runs through Jan. 14, 2018 at the McKittrick Hotel (542 West 27th between 10th and 11th avenue.) For tickets and information, visit: https://mckittrickhotel.com/calendar/filter/illusionists-table/