By Jessica Licciardello
It’s one thing to see an illusionist on television. Yes, mystifying and mind bending, but always hard to keep from wondering if the audience is somehow “in on it.” Cue the McKittrick Hotel’s Speakeasy Magick show. I was sitting right there, trying my hardest to see the sleight of hand or attempts at manipulating my mind, to no avail. I was pulled into the illusion in the most masterful way. They read my mind, guessed the cards, and made time stand still right before my eyes. I wasn’t “in on it,” I was in it. It was a feeling of being human again, in a time where we have so much technology and entertainment at our fingertips, I felt invigorated to be taken for a ride by the magicians that grace the performance. It was both vulnerable and exhilarating to be at the mercy of these illusionists, and the smokey 1930s speakeasy aesthetic runs through the continuity of the space in the most beautiful way.
The Speakeasy Magick show is just one of the amazing shows that can be experienced in the aura of the McKittrick. I was there last fall for the “Sleep No More” performance (and I am still pining to go back as soon as possible!) and with Valentine’s Day happening this week, I wanted to explore more of what they had to offer, with the idea that many New Yorkers as well as travelers may want something a little more off the mainstream experience for their loved ones.
Currently they have four shows on for Valentine’s Day “Date Night” performances, Sleep No More, Speakeasy Magick, Bartschland Follies, and The Woman in Black. There is also amazing dining and cocktails at the rooftop Gallow Green Lodge and regular world class musical performances in the Manderley Bar. I highly recommend exploring each of these possibilities if you want to WOW your partner in a truly unique way.
Both performances I have been able to attend so far have transported me to the far reaches of my imagination and truly took me out of space and time into another realm, curated masterfully by the McKittrick visionaries. Every time I am reminded of the place, I instantly think to myself, “When can I go back?”