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Trickster of the Trade

Experience Steve Cohen's "Chamber Magic" at the Waldorf-Astoria.


Steve Cohen performs

Steve Cohen performs "Chamber Magic" at the Waldorf-Astoria

Steve Cohen
The audience drifted into the swank suite of the Waldorf Towers at the Waldorf-Astoria and took their seats expectantly in the vast parlor, replete with high ceilings and a sober ambience. The spacious room featured expensive fixtures and furniture befitting the chi-chi locale, recalling a gentler time when characters like Mark Twain would spin yarns in the comfort of his home. Except this was 21st century New York City. And the occasion was a night of trickery and conjuring, not yarn-spinning.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Steve Cohen’s “Chamber Magic,” an old-fashioned foray into magic, mind-reading and mentalism. Cohen, a darling of the entertainment and corporate world’s elite, figured out a way to turn his tricks of the trade into a fat cash cow at an early age at his uncle’s knee. His uncle, trained under the guidance of the famed Houdini, graced his eager young nephew with the trickery and show-biz whiz Cohen’s since used to entertain international audiences around the world.

The pay-off has been astounding, considering that Cohen’s audience has delighted the likes of (pre-scandal-ridden) Martha Stewart, Michael J. Fox, Mayor Bloomberg and the former president of Intel, who reportedly nearly suffered a heart attack after one card trick.

This late spring evening, Cohen’s audience was a motley assortment of the well-dressed and blue-jeaned, teens and seniors, all happy to participate in up-close-and-personal shenanigans. The well-dressed Cohen, a slight, red-haired bespectacled man of wit and tomfoolery, is a throwback with a contemporary twist. His Fridays-only hotel show has been up and running for the past two years and is typically packed solely by word-of-mouth. That’s all the advertising he needs, since the word has been positive and attendance bountiful.

Cohen's primary income comes from corporate connections he’s made over the years, resulting in hundreds of appearances around the globe. But tonight he’s performing before an assortment of New Yorkers and tourists who’ve heard about him through web sites, hotel concierges and friends-of-friends.

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