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MAGIC MAGAZINE

400 Nights in Hollywood December 01, 2013 by admin

Boston at Night

Boston at Night Interview July 18, 2013 by admin

BEVERLY HILLS TIMES MAGAZINE

Behind the Magic! November 05, 2011 by admin
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On the evening of October 19, Ivan Amodei celebrated his 400th show at the uber-posh Beverly Wilshire hotel. Part of the genius of the location is that the magic begins long before the show starts. It starts as you drive past the shops of Rodeo Drive toward the historic hotel and intensifies as you enter its gilded doors and walk past the grand staircase where Richard Gere fell in love with Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. The spell cast by this place is palpable — it’s no accident that the word “glamour” comes from “grimoire,” a book of magical incantations.

Ever since the show opened on December 11, 2010, the magic continues on Friday and Saturday nights in the sumptuous 100-seat room, where the beautiful Irina Chirkova plays Vivaldi on the cello. And the magic builds as Amodei comes out onstage in an Armani tux and Piaciotti shoes — with a bag over his head.

Wait — what?

One of the charming things about Ivan is the way he harnesses the seductive trappings of luxury while not taking himself too seriously. I can imagine unrelieved devotion to elegance by a polished performer with movie-star good looks could come off as too perfect by half. But Ivan is a disarming, likable performer who lets the sumptuous elements work for him without seeming like he has a snobby bone in his body.

He presents himself an immigrant kid who dreamt of putting on a show, and dreamt big. This show is not merely located in old Hollywood, it is old Hollywood. How can you help but get sucked in?

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Amodei has a great sense of routining and a relentless desire to find the deeper meaning in his effects. In his water-to-wine routine (which he presented on Arsenio recently), he doesn’t shy away from referencing Jesus and, in fact, builds the themes into a “creation of life” goldfish production, all while keeping a light, elegant tone.

Or consider his presentation of an effect in which he predicts the serial number on a borrowed bill. In some way this effect is terrific, so powerful and so impossible, yet in other ways, it’s not so good — it’s hard to build a routine around it, it lacks suspense and surprise, and it’s so impossible it almost leads to giving away its method by cognitive default. But Amodei builds it into a marvelous routine that taps into the strengths of the effect while avoiding its weaknesses. He makes a big show of the fairness of the bill’s selection and the way it is placed on a thin retractable rod with clip high above a spectator’s head.

He then introduces laminated number cards, using them first to do a spectator divination routine that builds to a Sympathetic card routine. As a kicker, he claims to have predicted the exact order into which the spectator would shuffle the number cards — Amodei pulls out a sealed FedEx envelope from which he unfolds a banner that stretches across the stage, revealing a number — but the number doesn’t match the order of the cards! Only then does our attention turn back to the woman in the audience holding the bill. She reads off the serial number and it matches perfectly. The audience erupts into applause.

The sold-out 400th show milestone was celebrated with champagne and cake after-party.

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For many magic fans, the bigger the better. Make a building disappear, they think, and you have earned my applause. But as any good magician or true fan knows, however, it is often the smallest, most subtle deceits that truly amaze and impress.

Though he has won awards around the world and appeared in front of thousands of flummoxed fans (including the legendary likes of Sylvester Stallone, Demi Moore, Larry David, Dick Clark, Mike Myers and even royalty), Ivan Amodei prefers his audiences and his shows to be up close and personal.

That is what, for the past three years, he has eschewed calls from Vegas and Rome and instead commanded a ballroom at the historically luxurious Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles – an address so swanky and exclusive that his shows have a black tie optional dress code!

For those who know how to tie one on (a bowtie, that is!), Amodei delivers enormous fantasy in an intimate setting. Such will be the case when he brings his award-winning act to Boston for an exclusive engagement at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers’ Georgian Ballroom for two nights only – Friday, July 19th (7:00pm & 9:30pm) and Saturday, July 20th (4:00 p.m., 7:00pm & 9:30pm).

Having recently become an American citizen, the Sicilian-born Amodei is looking forward to coming to the birthplace of the American dream.“This is an honor for me to perform in Boston,” Amodei says. In an effort to show his appreciation and gratitude, Amodei will not only be donating part of the proceeds from his shows to the One Fund to help victims of the Marathon bombings, he will also be bringing a brand new illusion to his Hub hosts. “I know the city has been challenged this year,” Amodei says, “and I wanted to create a new illusion that would really reflect on their resilience and strength. As the birthplace of our nation they are a perfect example, we can over come any set back and accomplish great things!”

When asked what first drew him to magic, Amodei explains that, when he was five years old, he saw a family friend perform a few “simple tricks.”
“I was hooked,” he recalls. “From then on I wanted to use my art to inspire others.”
While his magic has inspired many others to pursue the art, Amodei takes a larger view and advises fans that, if they are ”lucky enough to find your passion at any age, don’t be afraid to pursue it!”
Such generosity of spirit is another element of Amodei’s shows that draw people in and leave them enrapt and overjoyed but always wanting more.

As his show was designed for high-class hotels instead of strip-side juggernauts, Amodei has had to craft his tricks and his entire performance to a demanding, well-heeled clientele.

“I wanted to create an experience for their guests,,” he says about the Four Seasons show he created four years ago, “not just a show. Something that brought people to another world- elegant, sophisticated mysterious but something the whole family could enjoy.”
And enjoy they have! So much so that, as he will in Boston, Amodei often performs three times a day! “The audience keeps it fresh,” he says, “since so much of the show relies on them and their interaction. It’s fun!”

Amodei is such a fan of magic that he has also written extensively about it. “I deeply love this art,” he says, “and I think we can learn from those that have come before us. I think it is important find our own way to leave our unique fingerprint to the art. Writing books, working constantly as a live performer all of it leaves something for future generations.”

In addition to leaving something for future magicians (and leaving his audiences’ mouths open), Amodei also tries to leave everyone with positive messages. “Magic is an art form that highlights what we don’t see, what we are not sure we want to believe in,” he suggests, “but those that do, see it everywhere and can do great things. It’s really about believing in yourself.”

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We caught up to Magician Ivan Amodei, pronounced (e-von ah-moe-day) at his photo shoot for BHT Magazine in the Royal Suite at the Beverly Wilshire. Having won countless awards, including the coveted People’s Choice Award, Ivan has had a fruitful career.

After a year of sold out performances and rave reviews, Ivan sat down with BHT Magazine to discuss the secret to his show’s success. He attributes it to intimacy, world-class artistry, a fantastic experience and most importantly—a deeper message.

Naughton: Why is your show Intimate Illusions different than other magic shows?

Amodei: This is a unique, musical and magical experience. My candle-lit luxury suite seats 65 guests. Once inside, you are in my world. Add to that incredible magic, wonderful stories, hysterical situations, and fantastic live music, it’s a sensational night out on the town. Most importantly, the show sends a genuine message—one that often touches, inspires and affects guests.

Naughton: What kind of magic do you perform in the show?

Amodei: This is not a large illusion show. There aren’t any big boxes or sawing women in half. It’s more parlour style. My magic has unexpected twists, turns and powerful finales that leave you thinking about it far after the show has ended. There are light-hearted, dangerous, funny and mentally baffling illusions. Overall, it’s a 90-minute roller coaster ride, but an exclusive, first-class and entertaining evening from start to finish.

Naughton: Audiences are always surprised by how funny you are since you aren’t marketed that way. Is that on purpose?

Amodei: Yes! I want it to be a surprise and an added bonus. I’m not a typical comedian. I don’t set up jokes and then deliver a punch line. I create engaging situations that become very funny. I often improvise which makes each show different from the next.

Naughton: You are accompanied by renowned concert cellist, Irina Chirkova (think Yo-Yo Ma). How does having live music add to the show?

Amodei: Music creates an emotional feeling to what you are witnessing. The cello scores the show like a great movie and adds passionate musical pieces to heighten each illusion. You’ll hear Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart and many other wonderful composers. It’s a great part of the show. Audiences simply love it.

Naughton: So this New Year’s Eve marks the one-year anniversary of the show at the Beverly Wilshire. Do you have anything special planned?

Amodei: Yes! From here on, it is going to be one big party after another this holiday season. I have a beautiful home for my show where I get to share my passion for performing—it just doesn’t get any better than that.