Magic in Maui…..

10958546_10203823913183089_2312483252418024942_oI recently wound up a two-week gig with a delightful day on the glorious island of Maui in Hawaii. I guess there may be better climates and more exotic locations scattered around the world but not many of them! I had a splendid time there, and as always the time passed way too quickly during my stay.

Lahaina is home to one of the very coolest magic venues in the world—Warren & Annabelle’s Magic Dinner Show. Situated at 900 Front Street, it is a very special location that houses one of the most popular magic shows on the scene. The brainchild of Warren Gibson this is a spectacularly well-constructed magic theatre that sells out two shows a night, six nights a week. It has been around for over 15 years and seems to go from strength to strength.

I have never actually had the chance to be among the 80 guests who make up the audience for the evening’s entertainment, so IMG_0967how do I know how good it is? I have heard many raves from lay folk who have been entertained by Gibson and his ghostly pianist sidekick Annabelle. In fact Warren’s name pops up frequently when sophisticated tourists name their favorite magicians. Along with Ray Anderson he is one of the finest ‘below the general radar’ ambassadors of magic performing today.

With a mix of showmanship, skill and southern charm Warren performs a two-hour magic show in his custom designed jewel box lounge and theatre combination. The set up reminds me of a nicely scaled down version of the Magic Castle or the old Magic Empire in Las Vegas. The intimacy of the setting is a very large part of the charm that seems to turn visitors into regulars. Good food and drinks do their part too. Even my fleeting daytime visit revealed a business that hums with the precision of a Swiss watch.

IMG_0974 The Magic Show has been running since 1990 and Warren seems to have perfected his formula. Guests arrive and enter the deliciously elegant lounge area via Annabelle’s secret chamber. Without giving away any secrets, their initial entry is fun and sets the mood for their arrival in the lounge/bar area where the ghostly Annabelle does her part in entertaining the crowd. After food and drink the guests are led into a perfectly equipped theatre that is perfectly designed for the combination of close-up and parlor magic that is the mainstay of the evening.

Gibson has an additional small repertory of guest magicians whom he features throughout the year. When I was in Maui John Shryock and Dana Daniels were performing in the showroom. With two such fine performers there to replace his signature performance Warren runs no risk of any of his audience leaving the evening with anything but glowing praise for the quality and caliber of the magic on display. The very talented Chris Blackmore is another frequent guest performer

I had a delicious lunch with John Shryock and Dana Daniels before they were kind enough to give me a mini-tour of Warren & Annabelle’s. We got to sit outside in the perfect climate and eat our meal discussing magic while looking at the blue water and luxury boats sailing past us on the horizon.

Daniels is another of those magical entertainers who makes a huge impact with every audience he performs for and does way Warren Gibson1more than his fair share in helping promote magic, both with his skills as a performer and his genuine like-ability as a human being. It was fun to be able to catch up with him during my visit, as our paths do not cross nearly often enough

It was a delightful visit and I was excited to see a magic venue that rivaled any in the world. Now I just have to organize another nocturnal visit when I can enjoy the evening as a spectator and participate in the magical and culinary treats that are offered to the lucky guests attending the soiree. I am in no doubt that it will be a night that will truly make me proud of being a magician.

Next I want to visit my old friend Paul Kozak who has created his own successful magical event in Kona.  I congratulate both Paul and Warren on creating something new and fresh to entertain the public with quality magic. The fact that they have managed to do so in such exotic surroundings just adds to my respect for their talents and vision.

~ by Nick Lewin on February 26, 2015.

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