It’s Magic

By Richard Mineards   |   March 12, 2020

You can’t get much of a greater span in approaches to magic than the acts appearing on It’s Magic!, whose 63rd edition, which annually showcases different types of magic – from subtle sleight of hand to big-stage illusions, performs two shows at the Lobero on Saturday, March 14. On the one hand, we’ll see Michael and Hannah Ammar perform the Spirit Cabinet, a trick that dates back to 1848, with direct lineage to Hannah’s grandfather known as Willard the Wizard, who got it from his elders, and so on.

“No other magicians do anything like it,” said Terry Hill, who has co-produced the show with founder Milt Larsen – the former Montecito resident who co-founded the Magic Castle in Hollywood and just last year opened the Magic Castle Cabaret by the Andree Clark Bird Refuge in town. “The secret is truly a secret that hasn’t been given away. They’re the only ones. It’s a family thing.”

At the opposite end is Nick Diffatte, whose act seamlessly blends dry humor, quick wit, and incredible skill, so much so that at 23, he’s already appeared on The Late Late Show on CBS, won multiple awards for both his magic and his comedy, and held multiple long-term residencies on the Las Vegas Strip. “He’s really funny, very different, and has impeccable timing,” Hill said.

Stretching in yet another direction is David Zirbel, who towers over the competition and takes magic to new heights as he’s over seven feet tall. Another early bloomer, Zirbel he had already become one of the youngest members of the Academy of Magical Arts Junior Society at the Magic Castle at 13, as was the youngest magician ever invited to join the International Guild of Prestidigitators.

Sunday’s show also marks the Santa Barbara debut of Richard Burr & Josette, international masters of magic and illusion who together hold five Guinness World Records. Burr is the only magician in history to achieve eight silver dollars rolling on both hands continuously.

So, roll on into the Lobero for a magical afternoon or evening where you’ll find it hard to believe your eyes.


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