Todd Robbins. credit: giafrese for The McKittrick Hotel

Drinks mix, fog billows, and strangers meet. They’ve all assembled at the Club Car in the McKittrick Hotel. At intimate tables of 10, pleasantries are exchanged and a sense of the unknown awaits. Soon, a charming, well-dressed man takes center stage. He is Todd Robbins, the host of Speakeasy Magick and he informs his skeptical audience of what to expect. “It’s a little like speed-dating,” he says.” A man will show up at your table for about 10-15 minutes and then he’ll leave and you’ll never see him again. Many ladies here can relate to the phenomenon,” he jokes. 

Matias Letelier. credit: giafrese for The McKittrick Hotel

Speakeasy Magick opens with Matthew Holtzclaw, a chain-smoking artist who makes lit cigarettes appear from nowhere.  The line-up (including Patrick Davis, Jason Suran , Mark Calabrese , Matias Letelier, Prakash Puru, Rachel Wax, Noah Levine) continues as each illusionist charms and engages his captive table–mostly with card tricks.  Rarely, do we learn we how we are being tricked. Nor, are we told the secrets of a magician Here, however, there are explanations. It’s still confusing, thanks to the unbelievable sleight of hand conjured by these masters.

Matthew giafrese for The McKittrick Hotel

The creators of the show are well aware that a steady diet of card tricks can become monotonous and in fact, most of us were glazed over by the third guest at our table. That repetition is broken by Alex Boyce, a dapper dan who pulls live pigeons from thin air and Robins, who hosts a cheeky game of bingo. The entire evening is accompanied by Jesse Gelber who plays American standards with retro-flair. Waiters (aka “intoxicologists”) flank the room, eager to serve the establishment’s signature drinks and other custom cocktails.

The McKittrick Hotel has established itself as the go-to hotspot for all things supernatural and bizarre. Whether it’s a three-hour excursion of the much acclaimed Sleep No More,  dinner with a Scottish mentalist, or bawdy antics at The Bartschland Follies, it’s an ideal alternative to traditional entertainment.  The true magic is how uniquely different each visit here can be.

It’s obvious that the McKittrick Hotel takes great thought in its programming, for each visit here is carefully designed and orchestrated.  Speakeasy Magick is no exception.

Speakeasy Magick. Now playing in The Club Car of The McKittrick Hotel (542 West 27th Street, New York, NY 10001. Tickets are available online at or by calling the Box Office at 212-904-1880.