Carol Marie’s “Magic Castle: Beyond the Smoke and Mirrors” Clears Miasma of Mystery Surrounding Milt Larsen’s Magic Castle!

Photo Courtesy of BHBPR

Conjure, if you will, divining all the secrets to the History of Hogwarts before Hogwarts (minus the nightly spectacles and dinner service) was even a speck in some imaginative Muggle’s eye!  Then, take these secrets, set them in the heart of Hollywood, not to be confused with Hogwartswood (the compromised parallel dimension between the two), insert them into a paperbound book along with historical pictures of the most revealing kind and you’ve got Carol Marie’s latest archived account: Magic Castle: Beyond the Smoke and Mirrors.

Fueled via a love of magic and the performing arts, this will be Marie’s umpteenth book penned in conjunction with input from none other than founder of the world-famous Magic Castle, Milt Larsen himself. With other hits like Hollywood Illusion, Hockman the Great, Peterkin, My Magical Journey (Larsen’s autobiography), and The 60th Year Anniversary of It’s Magic, Magic Castle: Beyond the Smoke and Mirrors is sure the be the perfect ongoing companion to all aforementioned, heretofore mentioned and yet to be mentioned books from this enchanted duo. And considering the colorful history of both the thrilling Hollywood establishment and the man behind it, you’d better believe said new publication will do the mighty disappearing act right off store shelves (both virtual and brick and mortar) as soon as the proverbial maestro of magic taps his trusty wand on the top hat that doubles as the podium of astonishing impermanence!

Photo Courtesy of BHBPR

Boasting consistent performances from giants in the milieu of master illusion, this legendary, exclusive club for magicians the world over, was founded by Larsen in 1963 and has remained packed by thrill seeking audiences nearly every night hence. Larsen, also a noted producer, writer, composer and Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame recipient, has maintained his Magic Castle presidency to date all the while welcoming some of the most famous faces, top hats, and nimble hands to not only entertain, but train future illusionists the likes of which include, Lance Burton, Joel Ward and Neil Patrick Harris. Aside from acolytes, the list doesn’t stop there.  Comprising even more noteworthy names, the membership roster encompasses that of everyone from Cary Grant, to Stephen Hawkins, to Johnny Depp. All the while, aside from entertaining stars, the Magic Castle itself might have partaken in entertaining the masses as it has appeared in numerous movies and TV shows up to and including, Perry Mason, Hart to Hart, Murder She Wrote, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Houdini and many more!  Moreover, in a poll conducted by Magic Magazine, Milt Larsen was voted one of the top luminaries in the annals of magic and a true “renaissance man” to boot considering all his other aforementioned numerous skills!

With fascinating characteristics and qualities like the above, can you really blame author Carol Marie for wanting to convey nearly everything she possibly could pertaining to both man and castle combined?!? But Carol Marie may as well be a renaissance woman in her own right. For, aside from her mad writing skills, she is also a theatre actress whose presence has graced the stages of Los Angeles and Europe alike up to and including those of the Burbage Theatre and the Edinburgh Festival.  From her acting career sprung forth a subsequent occupation in props and ticket selling.  With all this experience under her belt she was fit to take on the role of Administrative Director for the Gazebo Theatre in Santa Barbara and coincidentally did just that, but not before also expanding her horizons into the milieu of film and television wherein she would eventually function as Production Accountant for an assortment of various networks and shows commencing with The Waltons and continuing with a vast array of new programs on a range of well-known networks up to and including two new pilots for CBS.

Milt Larsen; Photo Courtesy of BHBPR

Carol Marie’s affiliation with Milt Larsen arose when she volunteered at the Magic Castle’s Library: The William W. Larsen Sr. Memorial Library.  Not only was the library a font of fascinating information but so was Milt Larsen as he took it upon himself to further attempt to sate inquiring minds via his concurrent tours wherein he would host groups of members on an escapade around the Magic Castle itself in order to better impart the landmark’s history, to speak nothing of the abundant and noteworthy artifacts within! Carol Marie took note and before long she cemented herself as a fixture on said tour, never missing an opportunity to test Milt’s knowledge on everything from the Magicians in the posters, to paintings, and the building’s décor, to the landmark’s history.

This would inspire Larsen to inevitably entreat her to photographically chronicle and catalogue The Magic Castle! The original tour book was published in the late 90s, with three subsequent printings to its name by 2010.  Sadly, The Magic Castle suffered a fire in 2011 and, as a result, the tour book had to be updated resulting in the latest incarnation of The Magic Castle: Beyond the Smoke and Mirrors. This most recent embodiment is rife with color photos and the latest and greatest accounts and anecdotes that encapsulate the personality, impression, and vibe that is the oasis unto Illusionists the world over!!!

Aside from her ardent record keeping, Larsen himself inspired Carol Marie to restore her 1908 Victorian Oregon Farmhouse by way of her immense interest in antique stained glass, much of which garnishes The Magic Castle and now her home as a result of her own creativity in the matter.

Photo Courtesy of BHBPR

As if all that wasn’t enough, the entertainment factor waxes even more multifaceted as Carol Marie also produces Larsen’s weekly radio shows Hear them again for the First Time broadcast on a plethora and sundry of Cable Networks along with a few Florida radio stations.

Carol Marie is a Life Member of The Academy of Magical Arts, the AMA (for which the magic castle is the clubhouse/mecca).  She has two singular dogs named Sabrina and Giacomo and lives in Culver City with said pooches and her husband Alan.

For more information and to purchase Magic Castle: Beyond the Smoke and Mirrors please visit:



Jennifer K. Hugus

About Jennifer K. Hugus

Jennifer K. Hugus was born at a very young age. At an even earlier age, she just knew she would one day write for the LA Beat! Having grown up in Massachusetts, France, and Denmark, she is a noted fan of Asian Cuisine. She studied ballet at the Royal Danish Ballet Theatre and acting at U.S.C. in their prestigious BFA drama program. She also makes her own jewelry out of paints and canvas when she isn’t working on writing absurdist plays and comparatively mainstream screenplays. Jennifer would like to be a KID when she grows up!
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